I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying a most spectacular view during our week at Ridgway State Park. There’s a curiosity that stirs within me as I watch the mountain range to the east change with the light of the sun or better yet an impending storm.
Before departing this little slice of heaven I’ve been privileged to call “home” for a week, I must explore. I’m torn between wildflowers or Chimney Rock. Fellow blogger, Mark over at Box Canyon Blog says the wildflowers are still plentiful up Yankee Boy Basin but are starting to wane….not much longer before they’re gone for the season. Ah, but the pull of Chimney Rock strengthens with each glance her way.
Upon further research, my map indicates a lake on the other side of Owl Creel Pass which is near Chimney Rock. Perhaps I can see Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain up close as well as a mountain lake surrounded by wildflowers. Now that’s a win win! The road is classified as easy and should be gravel the entire distance. No 4-wheel drive necessary.
The Yankee Boy Basin Road is classified as moderate and 4-wheel drive is recommended. Mark says we shouldn’t have any trouble driving Yankee Boy Basin with the Tacoma, but it will be a rougher drive than Owl Creek Pass.
Hubby’s been recovering from an injury incurred during the move and although he’s feeling tons better, he’s hesitant about a rough ride. With that in mind, we opt for the easier drive and I’ll just have to return next summer to satisfy my quest for mountain wildflowers. No arm twisting necessary.
We catch County Road 10 just a couple minutes south of our camp and head east toward Chimney Rock. We pass some of the most beautiful ranches with unbelievable views. Somewhere along this stretch is the field where they filmed John Wayne taking on the bad guys in the movie “True Grit”…..reins in teeth and guns a-blazing.
We pull over at the scenic vista for me to stand and stare in awe. It truly is a sight to behold and my photos don’t come close to doing her justice. If you have an interest in hiking this beauty, head on over to Mark’s post…..click here. The hike he and Bobbie took, looks awesome.
We continue our trek up and over Owl Creek Pass toward Silver Jack Reservoir. The road is gravel and in great shape. However, I’m disappointed once we started descending. That means the lake will be at a lower elevation. I was hoping for a high, mountain lake…. perhaps above tree line.
This is a great day trip for anyone who has a problem with altitude, because it doesn’t go much above 10,000 feet. Although initially disappointed, the disappointment was quick to fade. I even managed to see a fair amount of wildflowers.
The Silver Jack Campground sits in a forest of Aspen and Pine trees in the Uncompahgre National Forest. Some of the sites are large enough to accommodate our 31′ Fifth Wheel, but don’t plan on internet service. We couldn’t even get one bar on our phones 😦
The reservoir does not appear to be easily assessable. We found only one road leading down to the water’s edge. There were, however, numerous hiking trails.
All this driving and exploring has us working up an appetite. We find the perfect place to pull over for lunch. While sitting on the truck’s tailgate, Al and I eat our lunch in silence as we admire the view. It wasn’t long before I find myself unable to sit still. In between bites of my sandwich, I wander off. Photo-op here, photo-op there.
During one of my short jaunts, I become giggly and giddy like a school girl being noticed by a boy for the first time. Al, who has remained by the vehicle and thus several yards away, wants to know if I’m ok. With gleeful laughter, I exclaim, “I’m being buzzed by a hummingbird”. No further explanation needed as Al had a similar experience while visiting the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson. I find these little birds adorable and to have one hover inches from my face was entertaining beyond words.
I guess it doesn’t take much to entertain us these days. And of course, the little Hummingbird wouldn’t hold still long enough for a photo. Perhaps I’ll douse myself in sugar next time. Interesting image!
We’ll spend the month of August in an RV Park in Grand Junction doing some repairs and reorganization.
We’ll be formulating a plan and schedule for the next six months…..