Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fall or is it winter?

As I mentioned last post Jan and Jason were on the 11 mile roundtrip hike into Crater Lake.  They made it, but it kicked their butts.  It was advertised as a fairly long, but not bad as far as climbing went, 800' elevation gain, well, not quite the truth, actually far from the truth.  They ended up climbing more than 2400' feet over the whole of the 11 miles, but they had a good time, a beautiful day, although their dogs were barking when they got back.  Also remember the hike begins at 10,770'.
Getting started

Nice views along the way!

Is that Crater Lake?
No, another mile to go:(

Having a good time with his mother

Yeah!  Crater Lake

Just enjoying the views
There was one more thing we wanted to do while Jason was here and that was walk up to Kennebec Pass, 11,700'.  Now to do that we had to first drive up a very rough steep 4WD road to get to the Colorado Trail, then you walk about 3/4 mile to the pass itself.  It was another gorgeous day, and we were rewarded with incredible views.

Our fun had to end and Jason headed back to Atlanta.  Jan and I managed to go fishing a couple days with no luck:(  

The weather was forecast to be quite unsettled so we hunkered down.  The wind blew, the rains poured, thunder and lightning, the temps dropped, and, yes, the snow came down.  We had flurries where we are in Durango, but up in the mountains just north of us they got snow.  Silverton which is about 3000' higher, had real snow on the ground and the mountains were covered.  We had a little bet between us when we arrived as to when we would see snow on the mountains we can see from the campground, I picked Sep 26th, and Jan picked Oct 6th, well we were both wrong!  We took a drive up to Coal Bank Pass, 10,640' and turned around there.  The road the rest of the way to Silverton gets a bit more treacherous beyond there, steep drop-offs with no guard rails and since they were calling for chains we turned around there.  
It's 33 degrees:)


So a little blast of reality, pretty early in the season.  The weather is supposed to moderate and go back to normal the next few weeks, highs around 70, lows in the high 30's and low 40's, very nice fall weather.

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