Colorado Fall Colours - September 2013
For those that know me, I’m in the habit of booking a quarterly “wilderness adventure” months in advance so I can work my schedule around the dates.
Q1-2013 was the “Salt River Canyon Wilderness Trek” (check out http://hikearizona.com/photoset=24440
Q2-2013 was the “Colorado San Juan Mountains Trek” (check out http://hikearizona.com/photoset=25725
Q3-2013 was the “Himalayan CardioRenal Screening Project & Trek” (check out http://hikearizona.com/photoset=26703
) – still have photos from Stok Kangri Trek, Delhi, and Agra to post!
The plan was to also add a “Colorado Fall Colours” trek in Q3 using last year (check out http://hikearizona.com/photoset=21834
) for timing guidance…
Route plan per Google Maps indicates 7 hrs 22 minutes to travel 455 miles from Ahwatukee to Danzl Cottage on Dolores River via Tuba City.
Any time gained leaving work at a decent time and getting on the road before 4pm was lost waiting an hour trying to climb up I-17 to sunset point (major accident closed the highway until it was cleared).
Burg in Flagstaff and on the Rez by 7pm where we were greeted by a steady rain all the way to the cottage on the Dolores River between Dolores and Telluride.
Rain on the cottage roof made for a soothing song to put us to sleep after the long drive from the Valley to the San Juan Mountains.
FITBIT data; 4.46 miles, 36 floors
I had Disappointment Valley on my radar as a nearby location known for wild horses – this isn’t a political statement, but check out BLM Disappointment Valley/Spring Creek Basin (http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/sjplc/wild_horses.html
) and the musical celebrity laden movie on Disappointment Valley wild horses (Watch the 12 minute “Wild Horses & Renegades” video trailer at http://theamericanwildhorse.com/
). Abort near Spring Creek Basin due to excessive mud! snow! and threatening rain/sleet/snow clouds...
Afternoon take West Dolores Loop for fall colours - turned out to be winter snow scene loop!
$4.64 per gallon gas in Rico - Yikes!
BBQ a couple of New York strip steaks back at Danzl Cottage FITBIT data; 6.21 miles, 19 floors (10 ft/floor)
Plan to redux Dallas Divide, Double RL Ranch hay rolls, and onto CR7 for beaver dams and Blue Lake Trail hike. If time permits, sundown at Woods Lake.
FROSTY morning - 28 deg F according to my truck (failed to get photo evidence)
Actually start with awesome coffee in Rico at the little shack on east side of town - blows Starbucks away with a $2 cup.
Stop at Lizard Head Pass for photo op.
Stop at Sunshine scenic overlook on SR145. Aspen on Wilson Peak are still green - major let down
Take Lynn to Ophir - get some colours
Gas up in Teluride - Chrissy photo op by the Minersaur!
Stop at Last Dollar Road off of SR62 - plenty of photo ops, but too much traffic to my liking
Dallas Divide - still too early for optimum colours.
CR#9 and a Double R L Ranch - score! Plenty of hay rolls at southern most field. Combine and tractor pick up in action...
Off to CR#7 - an old reliable that's never failed to please.
Stop at Jason Hatfield's pond for photo recreation
Stop at beaver meadow for another photo recreation and lunch
Hike Blue Lakes Trail
Back to hay rolls on Double R L Ranch to catch long shadows
Telluride elk (are these employed by the Chamber of Commerce - they're always at this spot at sunset)
BBQ some chicken back at the cottage
FITBIT data; 7.82 miles, 79 floors
Plan to get to Alta Lakes and Ghost Town plus Lost Dollar Road and Woods Lake redux. Maybe check out Silver Pick Road...
Start the day with another cup of awesome coffee in Rico from the "High Ground Coffee Shack". Find out the coffee beans are from Ibis in Utah - will have to check this out - they're that good...
On to Alta Ghost Town and then Alta Lakes - amazing number of trout visible in Alta Lake - and friendly ducks agreeable to Skippy...
Check out Mountain Village above Telluride
On to Woods Lake via Fall Creek Road - disappointing fall colours
Return via Elk Creek Road onto Wilson Mesa and loop back via Silver Pick Road - Awesome view on Hughes Road - marked this one with geocoded iPhone photo.
Ilium to Ophir Loop and back to Danzl Cottage
BBQ some split cheese dogs...
FITBIT data; 8.16 miles, 63 floors
Getaway day, close up the cottage per Danzl winterizing instructions.
Route plan per Google Maps indicates 7 hours 58 minutes to travel 508 miles from Danzl Cottage on the Dolores River to Ahwatukee via Gallup NM.
FITBIT data; 5.09 miles, 27 floors
211 photos on Canon 7D
323 photos on Canon Rebel XT
53 photos on iPhone 4S
587 total photos to sort thru when I get the chance...
963 miles return Ahwatukee to San Juan Mountains
Prelude to fall colours (not the peak we were planning/hoping for…)
Unexpected winter scenes more than compensate!
28 degF frosty mornings
Awesome coffee warm-up from High Ground Coffee Shack in Rico CO each morning https://www.facebook.com/pages/Annies-H ... 4149051267
31.74 miles on FITBIT
2240 elevation gain (224 floors on FITBIT)
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