Thursday, September 15, 2016

Jason's here! What a whirlwind time of it.

We've been busy showing our son Jason the sights here in Durango so I haven't gotten a chance to update the blog.  He got here late Friday night, and we've been playing with the weather or I guess I should say the weather has been playing with us.  Quite a bit of showers and thunderstorms rolling in and out, so we've been making the most of it between the raindrops.

First off was a huge overview of the area, a 220 mile round trip loop that encompassed Silverton, the Million Dollar Highway, Ouray, Ridgway, a back country cutoff to Telluride, and then back through Mancos to Durango.  We ended up with a beautiful day, had a good lunch in Ouray, and gave him a good sample.
Our route
We got some oohs and aahs along the way which was what we were going for.  I didn't even flinch going up the Million Dollar Highway from Silverton to Ouray.  I guess I wanted to look brave in front of our son:)  
Perusing the info board above Ouray

Ouray, CO
Our lunch stop in Ouray
Maggie's Kitchen

We continued up to Ridgway, and made the turn towards Telluride and decided to take a nice cut off dirt road, the Last Dollar Road to Telluride.  There are a few fantastic overlooks on the way.
Jason on one hill, me on the other

A couple of "cabins" near Telluride 
After poking around a bit and watching several people come down the famous Black Bear Pass, we went by Ophir and up over yet another pass, Lizard Head Pass at 10,220'.
View from the Lizard Head pull off
Later we took him on one of our favorite hikes to get him acclimated to the altitude, Spud Lake.  He did incredibly well with the thin air.
Jason leading the way

Jason and Jan

Spud Lake(Potato Lake)!

He even treated us by making dinner one night, it was delicious!

Another thing we wanted to do was to expose him to some of our off road adventures north of Silverton, specifically up and over Hurricane Pass, 12,730', past Lake Como, over California Pass, 12,930', through Animas Forks, and back to Silverton.  It was an iffy day for weather, rain showers blowing in off and on mixed with snow showers, yes I said snow showers!  But it worked out beautifully.  
The road coming up from Silverton towards Hurricane Pass

Getting higher

Jason and I walking around at Hurricane Pass,
don't let our dress fool you, it's about 45 degrees and blowing, with
rain and snow off and on
We then cut by Lake Como, and went back up to California Pass.
Lake Como

Jason on the top of California Pass

Jan and Jason, you can see by Jan's reaction, it's cold!
We were going to picnic on top but it was too cold so we waited until we got down to a lower elevation.
Our picnic spot

The road behind Jason goes down to Animas Forks
That's snow behind him!
The weather was getting better as we made our way lower to Animas Forks, a mining town that in its heyday had 450 people living there.

Can you picture yourself living here?
This just includes part of our doings, in fact Jan and Jason are on a hike that Jan has wanted to do for some time, an 11 mile round trip hike to Crater Lake up near Molas Pass.  It starts at 10,770' and climbs more than 800'.  Jan and I had done pieces of it before and I knew that at that elevation I didn't want to do it (couldn't do it?), so she and Jason are knocking it out today.  More to follow later:)

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