Curiosity Piqued

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.

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain in the far background.  San Juan Mountains, Colorado.  Us to the left in the Laredo.  My brother and sister-in-law in the trailer behind my red truck.  Some shy folks from Minnesota on the right.    Ridgway State Park

Courthouse Mountain

Another storm rolling in over Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain

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.

Uncompahgre National ForestUpon 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.

San Juan Mountains

Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain

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.Courthouse Mountain

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… here.  The hike he and Bobbie took, looks awesome.

Owl Creek PassWe 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.

Uncompahgre National Forest

Silver Jack Reservoir and Campground is about a 21 mile drive from the main road of Highway 550.  The easier route to take for campers would be from the town of Cimarron and Highway 50. Silver Jack Reservoir

Uncompahgre National Forest

lovely place to hike and wildflowers to boot!

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.

Uncompahgre National Forest

lunch with a view!

Chimney RockDuring 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!San Juan Mountains

Silver Jack ReservoirWith lunch and laughter coming to an end, we meander our way back to camp at Ridgway State Park.  Our stay in the area has quickly come to an end.

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…..

Cimarron Ridge

Chimney Rock



38 thoughts on “Curiosity Piqued

  1. We can’t wait to explore Colorado and take in all the fabulous scenery. There is a Chimney Rock in Sedona that we have hiked around quite often. Gorgeous images you have captured Ingrid. 🙂

    • Next time we spend some time in Sedona, I’ll be sure to check it out. That may be where I had heard the name before. Thanks for the compliment on my photos. I’d still like to take a class one of these days!

  2. MY jaws are dropping every time that mountain shows up to your pictures. Looks interesting and magical. The distinctive color stands out so much. Beautiful sceneries, Ingrid. What I wouldn’t give to see such nature masterpiece.

    • Thank you and you are young with plenty of opportunity to experience the beauty of Colorado. I’m hoping to get to CA and do some exploring. Your photos are an inspiration 🙂

    • Thanks and awesome you’ll be in Golden. I really like Golden. Be sure and visit Red Rocks. Did you like Cherry Creek? Hope you’ll be taking your time through Colorado. We’ll be in CO until the 24th then start the journey south through UT toward AZ for the winter.

      • We haven’t gotten to Cherry Creek yet. That’s next week. Wish we could follow in your footsteps. Your pictures are fantastic. We plan to head south, rather than try to go over the mountains. Will be passing thru AZ in October.

    • Glad to hear you plan to linger during a visit to Colorado. I think you and Steve will fall in love…. during the summer and fall months of course.
      Al is finally on the mends and we hope to start hiking again very soon 🙂

    • Thanks and yes hubby is finally starting to feel better. I appreciate the well wish. BTW….do you have blogs on Blogger and WordPress? Your gravatar links to a wordpress blog.

  3. I’m hoping you guys will be up for a Courthouse summit next year…it’s the best place to view Chimney Rock. And BTW, Owl Creek Pass is a great fall drive as it is mostly Aspens, and in a few places they frame Chimney Rock. Also, the movie True Grit, with John Wayne, filmed along that road…”Debbie’s Meadow” is still there.
    Box Canyon Mark

    • We weren’t sure where “Debbie’s Meadow” was but figured we’d driven by it somewhere along our journey. We’ll be back at Ridgway the 30th-13th. Might be just a tad early for fall colors, but since Owl Creek Pass is an easy drive I’m sure we’ll venture up that way again and maybe take the ??? Fork Road. We need a better map 🙂 I’ll shoot ya an email when we’re in the neighborhood and if you and Bobbie feel like swinging by that would be awesome. My turn to cook!

  4. That is a gorgeous area and seemed well worth the drive, thanks for sharing all of the photos of it. I especially like the high pasture in the valley.

    • Oh, I totally loved that hay pasture. I could have just sat there staring for hours. Just up the road were the prettiest horses adding to the beauty, but photos of them didn’t turn out nice enough to post. God’s country was the first thing that came to mind as we slowly drove up this road….beautiful 🙂

    • We’ve been back in Grand Junction for a couple of weeks and the A/C needs to run during the day….90’s with 10% humidity. The sun is hot and strong. Heading back to higher elevation the 26th and can’t wait. Hopefully more great photos!

  5. Lovely area! It is very interesting how the light plays on the rocks and mountains.

    Hope Al is all right. That is the one of the many advantages to our lifestyle…you can return to see what you miss:)

  6. You, my friend, have a gift with that camera of yours. They are gorgeous. I love that hay meadow with the mountains behind it. I want to build a house right there.

    • Thank you Char but with scenery like that it’s pretty easy to take some great photos. I found my dream property just down the road from the hay meadow and it was ‘for sale’. Unfortunately, my bank account…… 😦

  7. Now that is a drive and a hike I wanted to take when we were in the area but a fire nearby dashed those plans…next time! Thanks for sharing.

    Metamorphosis Lisa

  8. Your photos and writing is just a pleasure to see every time they pop into my inbox… I try my best to find where you’re touring on Google earth but I must admit I have trouble finding you sometimes… can you put your trucks lights on.?? it might be easier to see you… joking aside, I though the other day after one of your post the Americans will know exactly where you are… me no idea, then I remembered Google Earth and now I can actually go and have another look at the marvelous places you are visiting… Hope Al feels better soon… not a back problem I hope for his sake…

    • I’ve been waving at ya but probably not at the same time you’re on Google earth. We’ll need to coordinate better….lol. Al’s finally doing better – yes, back. Moving sucks….you’ve been warned, although you’ll hopefully have more time planning than we did 🙂

  9. WOW – what views. I always wnjoy your photos – we are packing up today and heading home. My memories of lake views will have to sustain me. Plan well in August and I look forward to reading and seeing more of your adventures.

      • I drove home last night – my first meeting is today – I wanna run away! Seriously, once I get back in the groove it’ll be okay.. and once I have kids in the room it’ll be back to normal. we’ll be back for Labor Day weekend and maybe I can sneak away to see the fall color. Maybe!

        • You HAVE TO see Michigan fall colors at least once every year. I’m sure the cabin and lake are beautiful in the fall. You’ll be back in the swing of things before you know it 🙂

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