Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Week in Silverton

Sunday, August 16

It was a fun day! The town of Silverton held it’s 28th Rocky Mountain Brass Band Concert this weekend. It started out with the National anthem. Since 9/11, I get teary eyed every time I hear it. To see the audience stand, hands over hearts is moving and if that doesn’t move someone then something is seriously wrong with them. I love Sousa marches and Stars and Stripes ended the concert. Now the important question – how do we get back here next year!

Another good thing, I made cornbread today and it was good. It’s really hard to cook at over 7000’. I think have figured it out but will have to wait and see how I do cooking rice the next time.

A woman was killed by a bear(s) here recently. She had been feeding them for years and had been warned several times. The tragedy of it is that two bears have already been put down and they are looking for more.


We drove the alleged scenic Lime Creek Road today. It was a bust. Perhaps when the Aspens are turning this would be a great drive.

We toyed with the idea of getting dressed up in cowboy and madam outfits and having our photograph taken. Then we wondered where we would hang it.


We spent the morning doing a few chores. Dorothy fixed tilapia sandwiches for lunch, which was followed by a short nap. And then we were off in the Jeep. We drove to Eureka again and turned left to Eureka Gulch. There are a lot of gulches around here. It was splendid drive to 13,300 and the view back the valley was magnificent. We saw a few snowflakes!

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Another meadow in the San Juan’s

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The dog wanted to be between us and his sheep

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One man, five dogs, over a hundred sheep


This was to be a fun shopping day. We drove into Durango about 50 miles south that took about 1½ hours. First we went to Home Depot and then found a Mexican restaurant that was only okay. We wanted to do a few more things, but it was warm and we went to Wal*Mart for grocery shopping. Durango is a way too busy little town, with lots of touristy stores.


We bit off more than we wanted to chew today, but we could not spit it out.

The plan was to drive Cinnamon Pass. Our guidebook said the trail would be no problem for us. When we got to the fork for Cinnamon, one look convinced us to pass it up. Darn it! Moose had been reported along that trail. I came up with Plan B, to head east on Engineer Pass. A mile or so on that trail convinced us to turn around and head down to US550 on the west side of Engineer. Very bad choice. This was the worst trail we have seen and once on it there was no turning around. While Pelli can slide down rock shelves on her skid plates, going up was out of the question. So we spent almost two hours descending to the paved road. Once we had to pile rocks in a hole to have a possibility of passing over an especially irregular section. It was really fun, or something else, when Pelli did a diagonal see-saw on two wheels.

The really fun thing was at the turn around point – lots and lots of sheep and five sheep dogs along with the shepherd from Bolivia. It was interesting that as we stood there watching, the sheep headed downhill toward us. One of the dogs checked us out. He was very friendly but very watchful of his sheep. We chatted with the shepherd for a few minutes and gave him some much needed water.

Had a fireplace discussion about all matters of importance with the our neighbors.


A lazy day. We walked round Silverton checking out the tourists shops and people watching. We had rum cocktails at the Silverton Distillery where they make rum. Another evening around the fire, with Bill & Ruby of Victoria, Texas, Keith & Sandy of Iowa, and Ron and Patty from Utah.


The water pump started doing odd things a few days ago and last night it continued running after it should have re-pressurized. This morning I decided to replace it with the spare we carry. But first, I wanted to try adjusting it before tackling the replacement. Of course, to access the adjustment screw I had to take out the converter to get to it. Grumble. I turned the screw clockwise two turns with no effect. I returned it to the original position and then a quarter turn to the left and bingo the pump cut off. It has worked flawlessly the rest of the day, so maybe I will put the converter back in tomorrow.

Having solved that puzzle, we took Pelli on the Ophir Pass. This proved to be fine road with remarkable scenery all the way to the pass. The road down to Telluride was not so great. Pretty rough. When we got to the pavement, I went south toward Lizard Pass looking for the place where I took a picture in 1994. They must have moved the mountain, I could not find the place.

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On the way up to Ophir Pass. It was clouding up.

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Taken from Ophir Pass. Yes, that’s our road in the foreground

Rather than return via Ophir Pass, a mere 10 ,miles, we drove 80 miles around on the pavement. We stopped in Ouray and had an abysmal and over-priced dinner at a Mex place. But, other than that, a great day.

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