Colorado Update

All the fires south of us have been put on inactive status. Some cleanup and mop up operations are going on. All residence have been allowed to return home and the highways have been opened again.  No buildings of consequence were burned! That was a good thing.

We have started what the locals call the “monsoon season” Just like Tucson!  It has rained at some point everyday since July 1. Some days only a drizzle, but other days it rained hard and for a long period.  It was much needed, not only for the fires, but for the moisture. Not a lot of snow this past winter so they have been in a drought.

Between rain we have gone on a couple of atv rides. One in particular was literally between the rain! We headed up to Arrowhead Inn for lunch. About a 25 mile ride one way. We had reservations for 1:30 pm as another group was there and they only had 1 waitress. When we started it was a nice and sunny, but by the time we got to the staging area it began to cloud up. We arrived a little early at the inn, just as it started to rain. The manager came out to tell us what food he did not have! Very limited menu. Apparently the owner only ordered 1/2 a weeks worth of food! They were even out of eggs! If they had something left they only had one or two orders. what a disaster! We all got something to eat at least. In the mean time it was still raining as we geared up to head back.

I installed the windshield I had bought last year. We had a roof over our heads, but the rest did not. Raining harder now! Windshield helped a lot, however it was hard to see out. As we progressed down the mountain it began to rain harder and harder and at one point began to hail! We pulled over under some trees until it passed. Our friends pulled over as well as they did not have a roof over their heads! Sure glad we had the windshield! It kept us a lot drier than if we had not had it. we got wet but not soaking like last year. We all got to the staging area and the rain stopped in time for us to load up. 50 miles, a bad restaurant, rain and good fellowship made for a great day. P.S. The Lupines were beautiful and in abundance!

Our next trip was to American Basin. American Basin is a high alpine basin surrounded by vertical cliffs. It is well known for its spectacular display of alpine wildflowers in mid-July to early August.  In a brief but dazzling show of wildflowers such as Marsh Marigold, Parry’s Primrose, Colorado columbine, owl’s clover, larkspur, monks hood, Sneezeweed, Old Man of the Mountain, king’s crown, rose crown, elephant’s head, gentians and many others may be enjoyed.  Some of the flowers had already peaked and some had not bloomed yet. It was still beautiful!

This is the entrance into the basin. Notice the snow still on the mountains. It was an overcast day, with some wind. Chilly, I even (sigh) had to wear pants!  Once we got to the parking area we “circled the wagons” and ate lunch.

This is our group that traveled to the Basin. 3 ATVs and 2 jeeps. Ron and Loretta, Kay and Errol and David and Loretta on ATV’s and Jim and Selenah and their friends in Jeeps.

Our next trip took us to the the Deer Lakes area and on to the Powderhorn ranch area. This was an easy ride and on the way out we stopped at Deer Lakes to see if there were any moose. Alas no moose in that area! We continued our journey towards the Powderhorn ranch. This area is so beautiful. It is a valley with a river running through it. Green grass and of course cattle.

We drove about 3 miles down the road, lost Ron and Loretta, turned around and went back to see what happened to them and lo and behold there was mama moose and her twins!  She was very protective and took them further into the brush. We rode around and down to a point where we could see her and the twins again. Not too close! we did not want to get her upset! Lol. Later on on our ride back we spotted another moose with just a single young one! 

 The young one disappeared into the brush and mom came out to eat in the water. Notice the water dripping from her head. Never saw the baby again. Mom just kept on eating and eating, paying no attention to us but fully aware that we were there! 

Today we made a trip to Hurricane Basin. We have not done this trail before and it takes you to 12,200 ft into a basin that has great views to the north of all the major mountains. 

 At the terminus is a dormitory used for the miners during the digging of the Golconda mine. The HistoriCorps volunteers are doing some stabilization work on the dormitory and other buildings in the area.

Several mines besides the Golconda are in the area. There is even some equipment still left in the area.


The drive down was just as spectacular, but from a different perspective. 

 Lots of waterfalls and streams. All in all it was a good ride. One to do again later.

Happy Trails and keep in touch!

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