Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cinnamon and Engineer Passes

Lake City is connected to a bunch of other old mining towns through a network of old mining roads that are generally passable only for 4x4 vehicles.  One of our favorite activities is to take one of these old mining roads, Cinnamon Pass, to Silverton, Colorado before coming back to Lake City via Engineer Pass.

My dad and Gary check out to gorge (and old suspension bridge) below the shelf road on Cinnamon Pass

Old suspension bridge spans a deep gorge on Cinnamon Pass

View from the shelf road on Cinnamon Pass

Remnants of an old mine on Cinnamon Pass

American Basin as seen from Cinnamon Pass

Check out the old cabin just above the trees in the upper left

Looking down over Animas Forks, an old mining town above Silverton, from Cinnamon Pass

Looking down the valley from Animas Forks

Not all of the old buildings are completely abandoned

Not a bad spot for a cabin

Some of the better funded mines set up aerial tramways to get from one mountain to the other (you can see the lines over the tops of the trees if you look closely) 

A close-up view of one of the cars on the tramway.

Silverton, Colorado

Downtown Silverton

Looking back up the valley at Animas Forks on our way to Engineer Pass

Engineer Pass

View from Engineer Pass

View from Engineer Pass

Shelf road near the top of Engineer Pass

Top of Engineer Pass (and Engineer Mountain) as seen from Oh! Point

My parents on Oh! Point

The whole crew on Oh! Point
Mt. Sneffels (just right of center) from Oh! Point
Darley Mountain as seen from Oh! Point

Dropping down from Engineer Pass

Wetterhorn (left) and Uncompahgre (right) from Engineer Pass

Mt. Sneffels (second peak from the left) from Engineer Pass

Old cabin along Engineer Pass

Whitmore Falls

Dinner was an upgrade from ramen

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fishing Big Blue

My family has been going to Big Blue since the first time we came up to Lake City.  It's one of the places Kyle and I learned to fly fish, and it's where we take all of our visitors to sell them on the area. This year, I headed up to Big Blue with my parents and our friend Gary to teach him to fly fish, but our trip was cut short when smoke appeared over the ridge--just a small plume at first, but it grew steadily until it covered the meadow.  We got out of there pretty quickly!

Getting ready to fish Big Blue Creek--no clouds or smoke yet

Guiding Gary to the fish

Gary with his first trout--a monster!

The forest fire now has our undivided attention

Turns out that this fire was probably five miles away (maybe two valleys from us), so we were not in any immediate danger.  The fire has now been pretty much contained.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sunset over Uncompahgre

After spotting the moose at Deer Lakes, we headed back to Windy Point Overlook to take in the sunset. It's hard for me to drive past this point without stopping.

Uncompahgre is the large peak just right of center.
Wetterhorn, another 14,000+ foot mountain is on the far left.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Deer Lakes

We went up Slumgullion Pass to check out the sunset from Windy Point Overlook, but we got there too early, so we went over to Deer Lakes to see if we could spot any moose.

Lake San Cristobal from an overlook along the highway

Uncompahgre from Windy Point Overlook

Not a moose, just a shocked elk.  We were disappointed.

But then we spotted this young bull moose closer to the lakes

He found some delicious bushes

And his older brother decided to show up, too

The older brother

A moose greeting (assuming moose greet each other by touching noses)

The moose were almost oblivious to the crowd that gathered to watch them

Sunset over Deer Lakes