August 9th – 11th, 2019: Camping and high country day hiking with Veronica!!!

August 9th – Had a leisurely breakfast and used my new Aeropress to make fresh coffee. Love this new purchase!

My new Aeropress and Cimarron Coffee Roasters Ichamam coffee!

Great chatting through the morning. After breakfast, we headed up the old jeep road from the campground. We passed people camping in the forest. Some people parked a mile up the old road said “you’re going to get some moisture,” referring to the darkening clouds over the mountains. We kept hiking, higher and higher through a trackles meadow. After a while we saw rain coming down against the mountain directly ahead so turned around to head back. The rain caught up with us quickly, so I got to test my new Patagonia rain jacket. It worked great and kept me dry! Back at camp we made cheese sandwiches with yummy hummus and mustard.

Luckily, we had set up the tarp overhead between the trees over the picnic table, so we had a dry spot to come back to! We spent the afternoon keeping dry under the tarp. We talked a long while then broke out the games: Iota and Qwixx, both of which are fantastic games by the folks at Gamewright. We continued gaming and talking until about 7:45 p.m., then we were both cold so we retired to our tents. We slept hard – through the night!

August 10th – We got up at around 7 a.m. and went into Silverton to “Coffee Bear.” We had their great, strong coffee and veggie breakfast burritos, pouring over my maps and trail guides. We decided to head up to the Colorado Trail, above Little Molas Lake.

The Durango – Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
My wonderful trail guide

We started on the Colorado trail at 10,893 feet and hiked 2 1/2 miles to 11,627 feet, mostly above tree line. There were so many wildflowers and one very poisonous-looking red mushroom. We took a lot of pictures and stopped often to catch our breath. There were magnificent 360 degree views of snowy peaks all around us. There were many trail-runners, mountain bikers and hikers. We enjoyed the nice grade and the views.

Striking out on the Colorado trail
The Colorado Trail
The mountains above Little Molas Lake
Colorado Columbine – the state flower
Indian Paintbrush
Veronica and her hair!
Veronica on the Colorado Trail

August 11th – Woke up to coffee, cereal and chipmunks. Went back to “Coffee Bear” for strong coffee, veggie burritos and internet. We checked the Ridgway weather. There was no rain in the forecast so we headed out for Orvis Hot Springs for a relaxing soak in the natural hot spring waters surrounded by a lovely private garden. Orvis is clothing-optional, but because today is a Sunday there must have been lots of swimsuit-clad tourists. We had wonderful soaks in the various pools and enjoyed lounging in the shade of the shade trees in the garden, in comfortable Adirondack chairs. We stayed until 5 p.m.

Then, we drove to Ridgway’s marvelous “Adobe Inn,” where we met my friends B. and D. We had a great time catching up over a fantastic Mexican meal. I of course had the fabulous Chili Rellenos with the Rojo salsa. B. and D. are still loving the full-time R.V. lifestyle. We drove back toward the campground on the Million Dollar Highway, but we met up with several rock and mudslides spread across the treacherous road. Some of the road edges were even washed away by the passing thunderstorm! I drove very gingerly across the rocks and drove with my flashers on high-alert. Once we made it through the destruction we were greeted with a fantastic double rainbow over the mountains. We were even rewarded with getting to view a huge buck. We made it safely back to the campground – a little shaken but no worse for wear.

The road washout on the Million Dollar highway after an intense thunderstorm
The road washout on the Million Dollar highway after an intense thunderstorm
Our fantastic double rainbow!