In 1989 we moved from Nenana Alaska to Ouray Colorado. We purchased the 1891 Victorian home shown below on 5th Street. It was a one story with a full basement, 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. We had one remodeling project after another for the years we lived in it. (till 1998)
Click on any of the thumbnails to get a larger view of the photo.
Monarch Pass and Grand Lake
This is the Unaweep Canyon area of western Colorado.
With this row starts the photos of Woodland Park-Manitou Spgs-Pikes Peak area. We spent most of June, July and part of August in Colorado during the summer of 2007.
These are recent shots of Cripple Creek and Victor. Cripple Creek has changed greatly since gambling was allowed. Victor, just a few miles away is in decay as there is nothing to keep their economy going. The mines have for the most part shut down and very few other jobs, except working in the casinos of Cripple Creek.
Summer of 2008 in Colorado
We have spent the last two summers, 2007 and 2008 in Colorado, mostly on the Western Slope. In 2008, I drove out to Montrose Colorado by myself and Pat flew out a few days later, due to her job schedule in Florida. Our youngest daughter was there attending her Ouray High School class reunion. She had to return to her job in Boston the same day as our oldest daughter and her two sons, 3 & 5, arrived to spend a week. We put over 2,500 miles on our off road Jeep and took over 2,000 photos of our summer trip. Here are just a few of the photos.
The weather was cold and blustery as soon as I crossed into Colorado, it was snowing and blowing at the I 70 border with Kansas and continued to till I was in Colorado Springs. Then warmed up and melted leaving just wet roads. (first week of June) As I headed up Monarch Pass it started snowing again and there were several inches of slush accumulated on the top but not a problem. Drove on to Gunnison and spent the night at the KOA located there.
The next morning drove on west on Hwy 50 to Montrose where we had a reservation at the Montrose RV Park for a month. We had spent 3 weeks here in 2007. Very nice park, well run and maintained. Parking sites are for sale as it is a recent condo park.
I had towed our Jeep Wrangler behind the camper from Florida to Colorado to be able to run the Jeep trails in the Ouray, Silverton, Gunnison and Lake Granby areas. We were at Montrose for a month, then to Ridgway park for over a week, Mueller State Park for a week, and to Lake Granby for over a week. With a few days here and there between moving from campground to campground, we managed to spend two months before heading back to Florida.
From Montrose RV Park we made numerous day trips from there. West to the Black Canyon NP, to Gunnison and north through Kebler Pass, west to Norwood, Cotton Wood Pass, Telluride, south to Ridgway, Ouray, Silverton, Durango and north to the Grand Junction area. We spend as much time as possible on the Jeep trails and other secondary roads with our 4 wheel drive Wrangler. The first trip we went south to the Ouray/Silverton areas and found the trials still snowed in from the twice normal winter snowfall so this area would have to wait till later in the summer. It had been warmer to the west so we headed that direction. While we had been to the Black Canyon several times when we lived in Ouray, it had been many years since our last visit. We did both sides of the canyon, with the Montrose side being the most developed by the park service and the far side being the least developed. Drove on north to the Paonia area and visited several wineries.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP
Next trip was over Last Dollar Road, a cutoff between the top of Dallas Divide and Telluride. It is a gravel road that varies from good to a Jeep trail in places. Many beautiful working cattle/sheep ranches in this area of Colorado.
Telluride and area
The mine is the Smuggler and the falls are the Bridal Veil with Black Bear pass showing to the left of the falls.
Ghost mining town of Alta, south of Telluride
This is an easy Jeep trail to run but with outstanding scenery. It was a mining road between the Red Mountain mining district and the Telluride district. Still a lot of snow up on the summit of the pass in mid June.
Gunnison and Kebler Pass area
By the first of July, the snow in the high country had melted, along with the road crews cleaning, and most of the Jeep trails were open so we headed south again.
Red Mountain Trails, County Roads 31 and 14 in Ouray and San Juan Counties respectively. This area is between Ouray and Silverton. The trail cuts off near the Idarodo Mine located on Hwy 550 and goes in behind the mine to the east.
Jeep trails north of Silverton, Animas Forks, California Gulch, Engineer Mountain areas
About 10 days into July, we moved our camper to Ridgway State Park
Pat's sister, Lei and her husband, joined us from Portland for a month's camping together. Both the gals had grown up in the mountains of Colorado on the Front Range, Colorado Springs area.
From Ridgway SP it is a short drive to the turn off headed for Owl Creek Pass
By mid July it was time to head south to Silverton and then north up to Hurricane Pass, California Gulch and on to the top of Engineer Mountain.
Then a quick trip up Engineer Mountain as it was beginning to rain, snow and the wind was blowing. The trail up Engineer can be somewhat challenging in the "right" weather conditions which we had that day. I had forgotten how the mountain storms have both snow and lightening in them. When the hair on your arms starts to stand up, it is time to get off the mountain, if not already too late.
Mid July and time to leave the West Slope of Colorado and head east to the Front Range.
When in the Woodland Park area we normally stay in town in one of the private campgrounds but this year decided to stay at Mueller State Park, south of Divide. Nice park but not for us as it is a single focus with hiking as the only real activity and it is a long ways from anywhere. Next trip we will stay in town again. Were here for a week for Pat to re-connect with friends and to do all the nostalgic activities she did as a child growing up in this area. She and her sister have both climbed Pikes Peak over 50 times as youngsters with their father.
We drove to Cripple Creek, on to Victor and on south to Canyon City following the old rail line that has been turned into a roadway, of sorts.
On to Cripple Creek, Victor and Canyon City
From Mueller SP it was north again to Lake Granby and Rocky Mountain NP. We camped at Stillwater Campground. This is a US Forest Service cg that they have a concessionaire running. Spruce/pine beetles have attacked the trees in this area and the USFS is cutting the tree down in the campground and letting them stay where they fall. Government at it's finest. LOL The Hosts of the campground indicated the plan was to clear cut the remaining trees and replant. This was the second summer in a row we stayed here but will skip it in the future I suspect. Lake Granby is a beautiful area. We did some Jeeping NW of here and found it to be a different type of Jeeping than that of the West Slope. Lots of large rocks to crawl over.