It was so quite, peaceful, cool and beautiful with the lights of Cortez in the distance. We listen to the coyotes talking to each other for a while and then the chase was on. We dont know if the intended prey became a victim or the Coyotes got out run or out witted but it was neat to listen to while it lasted.
After Juan Valdez woke us up, we got dressed, fill our cups and thermos and checked all the tires on a walk around while Jeanie's Bottle warmed up and built air pressure. Around 8:00 we were headed back East On U.S. 160 to Durango, Co. Then on to Bayfield, no not the home of The Bayfield Bunch http://thebayfieldbunch.com/
and over to Chimney Rock.
In the late '70's I hauled coal from Chimney Rock to Prewitt,NM. I always loaded at night and it was so dark in that open pit mine that I would sometime become disorientated. The only place that I have been that was as total dark by nature, was on what is now Infernal-State 15 North of U.S. 2 in Montana. I stopped on the side of the road there late one night and noticed how dark it was. I thought to my self" I wonder how dark it really is". I turned off my lights and the truck engine and stepped out side the truck. I have never seen anything as black or heard anything as silent as that in my life, it gave me goose bumps. I knew in my mind if I took my hand off of the truck and walked a few steps I would be lost until morning.
Back to the trip.We were actually headed to Wolf Creek Pass to see if the generator would run right at 10,850 feet. We had decided if it would run right, we would just call it a day when we got there. It was only about 140-150 miles so we didn't get in a real hurry. When we got there we found out in short order that it was not a lot better than Monarch, for the generator. We took a lot of pictures on the way and while we were on Wolf Creek Pass. We drifted off wolf Creek talking about C.W. MC Call's song Wolf Creek Pass. Jake was doing a fine Job of bringing us down the Mountain safely.
When We got to Del Norte, I told Jeanie that I thought It might be a good Idea to just spend the night there. We had covered about 170 miles of beautiful country. Del Norte is a nice friendly little town and I remembered from trucking days that Monte Vista and Alamosa were not all that truck friendly. In the summer the Alamosa Valley produces lots of lettuce and in the winter truckers haul some fine potatoes out of there. You would think the towns would be grateful for truckers but that is not the case. I have been told by several LEO;s that it may say RV on the side and on the title but I see a truck, you can't park here.
After our morning chat with Juan Valdez we hook it for La Veta Pass and the Junction of U.S. 160 and CO 12. We had Brunch and kicked back for an hour or so before we started up Cucharas Pass and over to Monument Park.
All of the pictures that we took from Cortez to La Veta have also been misplaced.
Bluffs in Cuchara Canyon.
Cucharas Pass Summit.9941 feet.
In the background Cordova Pass11,743 feet
Incredibly beautiful Monument Park Lake.We spent the rest of the day and night here and then eased off the mountain into Trinidad, Co and then on to Infernal -State 25 and up Raton pass at 7834 feet.
Raton,NM has always been one of my favorite places. Just something about the Village that grabs you. Raton is at 6680 feet and the N.R.A. center is about the same. We knew we wouldn't have generator problems here.
Downtown Historic district is one block over.
We drove to the N.R.A., still get a bad taste in my mouth every time I type that, center and set up shop. I had lived in New Mexico long enough to know that we were going to get a little shower every afternoon, this time of year. What I didn't expect was to be on a dirt lot and 3 days of rain. I had water running through my tent, as did all the other vendors. It was tough getting the benches loaded in the trailer. The trap help only worked for the N.R.A. so I was on my own to get them loaded. With a great deal of grunting, moaning and straining I got it done. The next morning we got an early start and never set foot on N.R.A. property again.
Tomorrow: Across the continental divide , for the 4th time, Westbound
I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me.
Thanks for coming by to check on us.