Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Southern Colorado

In southern Colorado we stayed in the Elks parking lot right in downtown Monte Vista - a tiny, but thriving town.  Not the most scenic spot to stay, but fun because we could walk to breakfast, the thrift store, and even the visitor center.

One day, we headed up to the mountain mining town of Creede through some pretty country.

We were lucky enough to be there for the

Unlike the Lumberjack competition we attended in Washington, I think you have to be really into the  mining industry or know a competitor to fully enjoy it.  Although we certainly were impressed by the strength required to compete, after watching a couple of guys pound a spike into a piece of granite for five minutes each, we were ready to leave.  They need to rotate events and have people compete simutaneously like they do at the Loggers Jubilee we attended last year.  Instead they featured one event each half day of the competition.  It was an amazing thing to watch, but my attention span wasn't up to hours of the same event.

Creede has a real mining history and backs up to some rugged scenery.

We got a chuckle out of the fire department.

Another day we scouted out a couple of hikes in the national forest.  With only a little driving on roads that we had no business taking our low-clearance car on, we found this natural arch.  From the parking lot, it's obviously an afternoon shot, but since we were there in the morning, I had to get to the other side.

It didn't look like that hard of a climb, but making it to the arch involved a bit of huffing and puffing.  Voila!

Then we went to Penitente Canyon.

It's very popular with climbers.

But this little tree managed to climb the cliff without the assistance of rope or harness.

Once again Ron's imagination saw things in the rocks.  I'm sure you'll all agree this is a camel.

Although I found this pair of rocks - two orca whales leaping into the air.

The trail ended up climbing out of the canyon, luckily not straight up a cliff.  Oh, I forget to mention, as soon as we crossed into Colorado, we could pretty much count on clouds and/or rain every afternoon.  Not a bad thing since we just planned all our outdoor activities for the mornings.


  1. Now you are in our country. One day we attended a whittler gathering in Creede and many of the booths were inside that cave.

  2. Guess that Fire Department is pretty fire proof.

    I wonder if those miners ever get a pounding headache?

  3. Orcas, yes. Camel ... I think it's a snail.

  4. Glad they're getting rain now since they had the fires to deal with last month!
    Great looking town, Ive never been to Creede!!

  5. Great shots and I especially like the one of the parking area.

  6. Very nice pics. Been in this area many times for over 20 years and it's still fun to see again. Hopefully you get to see the North Clear Creek Falls past Creede on the way to Lake City. Beautiful falls not far off the highway. Don't want to miss that one.