After two weeks of enjoying the Gunnison River area, we said goodbye to the Curecanti National Recreation Area and the Blue Mesa Reservoir (sadly depleted from the drought, the reservoir level is far below its usual level).
Once again we picked up CO 149, the Silver Thread Scenic Highway and headed east and south, retracing the bike ride we took to Creede two weeks ago (see Mountain Climbing blog).
This time we gave the truck a good workout pulling our house up and down and around through Lake City with its view of Red Mountain,
and up 3000 feet
through Slumgullion Pass
and recrossed the Continental Divide.
A mile or so down the slope we picked up the Rio Grande River, about three miles from its source in Pole Creek Mountain.
The young river was our constant companion for the rest of our trip on the Silver Thread,
through Creede to South Fork where it continued east while we turned south onto US 160.
So far the truck performed like a champ, easily dragging our our house over mountains and around curves. After we crested Wolf Creek Pass, though, the real test began. The road went down a 7% grade for 7 miles. The truck behaved perfectly. The exhaust brake kept the speed at 40 mph without even trying.
Duane was able to relax and enjoy the scenery as he negotiated the sweeping curves.
(That white patch is a runaway truck ramp. The road curves down on the left.)
At Pagosa Springs we turned west for the final leg of our drive to Durango. From our rv park just north of Durango we plan to explore several of the National Parks/Monuments and tourist hot spots around the area. Pagosa Springs was on our list to visit until we drove through it. Road paving cause this back up, but we decided that this town just wasn’t someplace we wanted to see.
We do plan to go back to visit Chimney Rock National Monument, which is just a few miles west of Pagosa Springs.
A lot of our riding around will take us through the beautiful San Juan Mountains. We visited the southern end of this range when we toured New Mexico. Now we will visit the northern end.
Between Bayfield and Durango we entered red rock country. The walls of this valley were just beautiful!
I didn’t take any pix of Durango. We will be visiting there later.
Tomorrow we ride the bike.
Louise and Duane