Saturday, June 16, 2007

6AM - The climb up the mountain.
Hwy #550 going north from our Nite Camp is very steep. We climb toward the 10,640 foot elevation Coal Bank Pass. MsTioga takes the climb very well, although much of the time at 25 miles per hour.

The forest and mountains along the highway are very, very beautiful.

7AM - Camped above Coal Bank Pass.
Just a bit beyond the Pass, we came upon a dirt road heading west. We have made a Camp on this road which is in the San Juan National Forest on Engineer Mountain.

We have found that boondocking sites in the San Juan Forest along Hwy 550 are very few. However, this boondock Camp is an exceptional one. A trail which begins only a few feet from MsTioga is called "Pass Creek Trail" and appears to head up Engineer Mountain.
Our Camp on Engineer Mountain.

8:30AM - Google Earth view of our Camp.
This is the first time that we have published a pic of our location in Google Earth. However the image below, taken in winter when the mountains are blanketed in snow, is just too fantastic not to share with you.
Our Camp in Google Earth.

2:30PM - George has an oxygen problem.
The plan was to make a Camp overnite here at the foot of Engineer Mountain, and tomorrow morning hike on Pass Creek Trail. However, taking a nap here is a problem which required deep breathing every few minutes. There is not enough oxygen at this elevation to breathe normally.

So, we are heading down the mountain.

3PM - Silverton, Colorado.
There was one more elevation climb before we reached Silverton. It is called Molas Pass, and it is really high!
Elevation sign at Molas Pass.

The Town of Silverton lies at the foot of the mountains shown in the pic below. MsTioga made her Camp along the dirt road that you see at the bottom of this pic.

Just as we pulled into our Nite Camp, the Durango-Silverton steam locomotive rolled slowly by pulling several cars down the mountain. Little Mavicito could not get out fast enough to take a pic of the ancient train.
Our Camp in Silverton.

4:30PM - Reader Rogers tells about funnel cakes!
We received an email from Reader Roger who raved about funnel cakes served up in the Town of Silverton. It is only about a mile away to town, so Little Mavicito and George hiked up the railroad tracks!
We crossed the railroad bridge over Mineral Creek.

We passed a ton of RVs camped in Silverton's RV campground. Then we came to downtown and the little funnel cake store. Just as Roger predicted, the funnel cakes are "OOOOOsoGoood."
Funnel cakes frying up.

Downtown Silverton, Colorado.


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