Stevens Creek CG

Curecanti National Recreation Area isn’t the most beautiful place on this Odyssey, but it does suffice as a peaceful stop. The Stevens Creek CG is on the Blue Mesa Reservoir and apparently provides good fishing. A cool breeze drifts over the campground from the water. When I arose this morning and went to the sun to warm up, get joints loosened, etc. there already were many boats on the large lake. I will be departing here on the 8th headed to the Denver area for a few says.

Barth sits among brush in CG

The area is covered with 3 foot high scrub brush of various ugly types making the far mountainsides appear to have a fuzz over them. Except for the mountains in the distance, the appearance is much like, say, Northwest Texas. Perhaps that explains why most every vehicle on my campground loop sports a Texas accent.

There are two more reservoirs westward, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park northward. So I may come back this way upon departing Denver to casually explore this unknown territory. Tomorrow a boat tour has been booked on the Morrow Reservoir. So no pics until then. It is impossible to take pics of huge lakes, but a snapshot or two may find it’s way into the camera tomorrow.

View of campground across the lake

Late yesterday afternoon I scooted to Gunnison since I had no deja vu here. Must be a new experience. Gunnison is as flat as a pancake skillet with N-S and E-W central Boulevards wide enough for an interstate highway, four lanes, turn lane and curbside parking both sides. Wide. Though the population is apparently well below 10,000, it appears to be a town with a purpose other than, or in addition to, tourism. A real town. Cimarron, presumably a town, is in the other direction, is yet to be explored.

Tags: Cimarron CO, Curecanti NRA CO, Gunnison CO

Passing through Lake City

Objective: travel the Silver Thread Scenic Byway (South Fork to Lake City). Result: completed.

I have traveled the Million Dollar Highway (Silverton to Ouray), The Wolf Creek Pass highway (South Fork to Pagosa Springs) and now the Silver Thread. But I keep running into déjà vu. The small CG 4 mi. west of South Fork looked awfully familiar, but not sure when I was there. Lake City was also familiar. Then I remembered driving the Jeep (rest her soul) over Engineer Pass from Ouray.

Then I remembered my first impression of Lake City. Cute, nestled in a steep mountain valley. Lots and lots of restaurants. And cabins. Just a place to sleep, eat and…As they put it, a town where they have to make their yearly living expenses in two months of the year.

Not as many shops as Creede. Friendly. Expensive, and they have no compunction about selling you shoddy food at full price, even after complaint. Such was the case at the Tic-Toc food and meeting place. One could build a house from the bricks they call brownies, homemade no less. Even at the $2.50, a Twinky would be better. Otherwise the food was good. But how can one have a bill of $17.00+ for a burrito, coffee and a brick with ice cream on top? Easy, in Lake City. Just go to the Tic Toc. Tip? Make a guess. My suggestion is drive through at 15 mph, have a cuppa and chat with locals, then move on.

Locals were friendly. And chatty. At the Tic Toc encountered a pretty 20-something lady from Russia, Anna. Quietly demure, intelligent, educated… and magically found true love and married in Lake City while on a work exchange program. Imagine that! Suspicions aside, she was charming. I gave her some ideas for her career developement in the U.S., freely offered of course.

Then I wished I was 20-something, walked the dog and left town. It is a good thing I had not my camera. Otherwise an annoyed husband might have not given me time to walk the dog.

Déjà vu.

Tags: Lake City CO

A catfish fry by the Fire Department

A catfish lunch, in trout country. I guess they had to “catch and release” all the trout!

Truthfully I enjoyed my dining companions more than the lunch. But the $ went for a good cause. I dined with a gent from, guess quickly now… did you say Texas? You are right! Basically my age, my values, my experience so we had plenty to talk about. Forgot his name of course, so let’s call him Howard.When I was in Dallas in my Junior years working at Texas Instruments on the Terrain Following Radar for the F111 Bomber, Howard was in Ft. Worth at General Dynamics working on the F111 aircraft.

Howard has a cabin near here, “never quite finished.” But he was envious of my RV life style, as he has become weary of always having to take his summer vacation here, not traveling anywhere else. Perhaps he was dropping a hint that it was for sell, but if so, it was too subtle for me to pick up on it until this moment. A very nice personable fellow, Howard.

Another older gent, Howard and I figured from his story that he must be around 90, joined us after I joined Howard at the dining table. Name-wise, I remember that he was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, a bomber pilot. So let’s call him Lt. Col. Shelby.

Lt. Col Shelby flew almost generation of ‘modern’ bomber to the advent of the B52. His story was a little jumbled, due to his age, but nonetheless interesting. It would have been very interesting to talk to him in a quiet place to get ‘the rest of his story’. Lt. Col. Shelby called himself a bum. Apparently he has no permanent residence, and is not a RV fulltimer, traveling around and staying in lodges, motels and such. At least that was the best picture we could get of him in the noisy trout catfish fry environment. Talking to career Air Force pilots is always interesting. The Lt. Col. said that the best part of his service was “seeing all the world at your expense,” pointing to Howard and I.

Sorry that I did not get a pic of them, as I was distracted by the conversation.

Tags: South Fork NM

South Fork parade

A large parade, for a small town. There had to be a large percentage of the town’s folks in the parade. Viewers lined the half mile parade route one person deep, intermittently. I chatted with some semi-locals, those that have cabins here to use in the summer. Some full time. The atmosphere was friendly and festive. Most fun parade I have attended in a long time. Only parade I have attended in a long time. Some candid shots, and potshots:

Texans await the parade - their undies were probably patriotic! Asked "So you are from Texas?" Answered "Isn't everyone here from Texas?"

A clown to warm up the crowd for the parade. A big hit with the kids.

The Unknown Grand Marshall

The Shriners go high tech

In Colorado, so gotta have a horse brigade

We used pickem up trucks and hay trailers in my days

As pretty as any horse, and smarter

What is a parade without antique cars?

And so off to Creede tomorrow to view their parade. It is rumored hereabouts that a lot of the same entries will be there.

Tags: South Fork NM