Posts Tagged ‘Slumgullion Pass’

Vacation–Day 3, June 22, 2011

The road from Creede to Lake City became an OMG one when we reached Windy Point on Slumgullion Pass. We missed the turnoff to the overlook, but did a Uie in the middle of that tight, winding highway just so we could see the jaw-dropping views that we remembered from ten years ago.

Here is where you need a video or a panorama camera (above). These are the San Juan mountains. Iron-stained Redcloud Peak is to the right.

I increased the saturation on both of these photos to bring out true colors of the peaks. Uncompaghre is the central peak tilted to the right. This part of Colorado was shaped by volcanic forces.

A few miles further down Slumgullion Pass, you get this view (below), and an interpretive sign that says, “About 850 years ago, thousands of tons of water-saturated earthen material broke away from Mesa Seco and slid nearly four miles into the valley below. The Slumgullion Earth Flow dammed the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River and formed Lake San Cristobal—the second largest natural lake in Colorado.”

Especially for my friend Fran, here’s the miner’s recipe for Slumgullion Stew. She asked me to copy it for her from the road sign. When cooked up, the old timers said it looked just about like the earth flow—or vice versa.

Below is a photo of Lake San Cristobal formed by the Slumgullion Earth Flow, which blocks the river below the bottom of this picture. Geologists say that the earth is still moving. We noticed quite a few homes and lodges built on top of the yellowish gunk. Makes you wonder . . .

Jim and I found a handy little beer and sandwich bistro on Silver Street in Lake City where we refueled.

We located our motel, The Matterhorn, and checked in. This place is as cute as a bug’s ear, as my mother would say. Built in 1949, it was gutted and renovated seven years ago. Our unit looked brand new—it came with a little kitchen and we cooked several meals there. It is where we’ll return the next time we’re in Lake City.

Then we went exploring. Below,  Jim summits his first dirt mound on the mainly flat part of Engineer Pass.

I took pictures of flowers. It was too early for most high country wild flowers, but these modest ones needed no apology. This gorgeous white flower (below) was on the roadside starting up Engineer Pass. I’ve tried to identify it, but don’t have the necessary alpine flower guide, nor can I find it online.

This  pale lavender columbine (below) was protected in a shady glen.

We found this grouping (below) on the road to Engineer Pass. I can’t identify it for certain, but believe it is a sedum, similar to Sierra Sedum—yellow flower heads on a rosy colored stalk.

Pooped from driving around looking at wildflowers, we wound up our day by cooking a frozen pizza in our room, eating it decadently on the soft bed,  watching TV and drawing with colored Bic pens. As the sun went down and the moon came up, the air cooled. We needed our snuggly comforter by morning.

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