Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Colorado Vacation - Silverton
The next day was also sunny and beautiful. We slept in a little and ate breakfast in camp. We then got on our bikes and decided to tour downtown Silverton. This time I brought my camera. There were cool buildings and train implements all around. There was even one house that was both. We went into some shops and tried on some gear clothing, but didn't buy anything. We then went grocery shopping, and filled up the gas tank. The RV park owner recommended that we go to the local BBQ place, and that we would get 10 percent off. We did for lunch. The BBQ was okay, it wasn't as good as the place we went the night before. I don't think the meat was smoked long enough. They had really good pickled jalapeno peppers though. Anyway, we were ready to get on the road again. We drove over the pass headed to Ouray. The surrounding mountains were stained red and yellow from the mine tailings all around. We passed a number of mining areas. The road had plenty of pull-outs with interpretive signs about all the mining that was being done, and what environmental restoration the companies are having to do. The damage is done, though. The river that runs there is dead from all the metals that is washed into it. I could go off on my leftist soap box now but I digress. We normally like to go to hot pools, but the one in Ouray was public, and not free. Since we aren't big shoppers we decided to pass through Ouray, even though it was a really cute town. As we were going down the mountain we realized that it was starting to get hotter and drier. We stopped at a train museum and decided we wanted to get back to the mountains. We decided to loop around and see the other side of the San Juan mountain range. We were headed to Lake City. We passed a giant reservoir outside of Gunnison, and arrived at some public land 20 miles away. I always find it amazing the way Kristi can find a free camping spot. She must have some kind of radar. She can spot a forest service road from 100 ft at 30 mph. As a general rule, since we have a camper van, we prefer to camp in more secluded areas. It's not just that were cheap. Well, we are cheap, but that's not the only reason. We like to take the road less traveled. We like the solitude. We dislike generators, yee-haws and kids. All good reasons to not camp in designated campgrounds. The interesting thing is that there is usually free camping right after a fee campground. If you have patience and a hawk for a co-pilot you're good to go. This particular spot before Lake City was one of those spots. We passed a road, turned around and discovered a small fee campground near the river. We passed the campground, and went over the river. A few bumps later we came upon a campsite. This site would be our home for the few nights to come, little did we know.