Regis: After a long drive around yesterday we wanted to stay close and give Dart a break and let him stay in the RV. Linda wanted to go to a water fall in town so we grabbed the cameras and headed into town. We found the exit from the falls but it was a one-way road. Strike one. We turned around and headed up the mountain. We found the sign pointing the way with a parking lot that was full with empty ATV trailers. We found one spot, parked, and started to walk to the falls.
After a short walk we found ourselves at the top of the falls but could not see it. Strike two. What we did find was a very deep chasm, ranging about 4-7 meters wide and about 15 – 25 meters deep. There was equipment set up along the lip of the chasm to spray water. During winter they spay the sides of the chasm with water which then freezes to form a wall of ice. Now you have a place to do Ice Climbing. We found another sign pointing to the falls which appeared to be better for driving, not walking.
Back to the car. We drove back the way we walked and down a short dirt road to the real entrance to the falls. There looked to be a fair number of people there and you had to buy a ticket. Strike three. We drove through the lot and out the exit back to the RV.
Later that afternoon I went back to town in hopes of getting some pictures of the town. My plan was to walk around the “back” streets, away from the main street and see what there was. I took the first left off of main, which was dirt, and drove several blocks to the end. What I found was a parking lot for a short hike to a water fall. The fall in view was the last of seven that cascade down the mountain. Sometimes you just get lucky. This spot is also at an intersection with the Ouray perimeter trail which is a 6 mile loop around and above the town. I hiked alone for several hundred meters and took some pictures. While the trail was being maintained, it was not much bigger than a goat trail. In fact I did come across some goat or deer droppings.
Linda: Ouray, like many of the towns around the area, is an old mining town. Tourism is now more lucrative than the mining. I read there are over 600 miles of Jeep trails in the area. Many of them pass over old Native American trails through these mountains. Many of these are expert trails and we chose not to attempt them in our Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. After looking at Google Earth, they looked tough but exciting. Ninety percent of the vehicles attempting these trails appear to be Jeep Wranglers or other, unlicensed, off-road-vehicles like Razors.
There are via ferrata trails in the area. For these trails, steel cables and ladders are affixed to the rock so a non-expert can climb the mountain. If you are a novice, they recommend a guide. This area is a great place for outdoor adventures.
Dart has not been eating properly and he went a whole day without food, so I hand fed him about 1/4 cup of food. I got concerned enough that I changed our trip to head back to Florida with one day stops. Fortunately, it looks as though we will miss the hurricane that’s currently hitting Florida. Today, Dart acted like his old self again. I can’t believe I was grateful to see him looking longingly at me for some people food. All of our dogs were well trained not to do that, but after our last collie died and Dart was the only dog, I began to spoil him and even Regis has allowed him to get away with a lot. After all, he now sleeps in the bed with us and Regis never allowed our other dogs on the bed. I plan to take him to his regular vet when we get back to see if there is something going on that can be fixed. But, it was great to see him acting well today.
We stopped in Albuquerque, New Mexico for our first night on the way back and a super bad storm whipped through the campground after we set up. We suffered no ill consequences but we saw an easy-up tent ripped to shreds and the fence in the dog park was blown down.
We arrived in Amarillo today. We left Florida in May and went to Washington State and we are now making our way back to Florida and this is our first stop where the campground staff are not wearing masks. One of the reasons we are primarily staying in KOA’s on the way back is because they appeared to have adopted a standard protocol that made us feel very comfortable in our travels. In most campgrounds, even the outside staff have been wearing masks. Here, no one is wearing masks and no guest is wearing a mask. I am ready to get home.