Saturday, September 22, 2012

Go West Old Man – Onward to Durango, CO – 2012

I didn’t mean to make two posts on Thursday, so I skipped Friday.

We left the Pueblo area campground Friday morning and headed for Durango following route US-160.  This is the view as we left the campground.
We could see these two mountains (East and West Spanish Peaks) from the campground but got better shots along US-160 along with the snow covered 13,500’ – 14000+ peaks Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Culebra Range, further south.

The landscape was really interesting as it changed from desert like near the campground to high dessert with a little more green after we crossed the first 9000’ pass and dropped down into the 7500’ San Luis valley.  The irrigated fields were green and productive and the non-irrigated areas looked like high dessert.  Crossing the valley, we passed the 14,357’ Blanca Peak, also part of the Sangre de Cristos, and the 171,000 acre Trinchera Ranch which was sold in 2007 by Steve Forbes to a billionaire hedge fund manager for $175 million.   The valley floor stayed that way until we got over to South Fork and started up into the San Juan mountains. 

Bev headed back from the Subway in Del norte.

Judging from the homes and shops, South Fork was obviously an affluent area, likely due to the Wolf Creek Ski Resort and the river.  It was a beautiful drive up the mountain, first along the south fork of the Rio Grande River, then up the mountain past Wolf Creek Ski Area to 10850’ Wolf Creek Pass, which I’ve wanted to visit since the 1975 C.W. McCall song of the same name.  It's sad to see the dying trees due to the pins beetle.

Once we crossed the continental divide, the valley was much greener with lakes and rivers that had much more water in them.

 After our scenic drive, we arrived at the KOA about 8 miles east of Durango (Elev – 6512’, 2010 population – 16,887), got set, up and relaxed – driving a motor home pulling a dolly with a car over the mountains requires a little of that – same for the tensed up navigator.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


9/14/12 event date


  1. I can't get over those snowy peaks. So pretty.

  2. Your photos are wonderful, Larry. It sounds like you are having a great time. You've certainly have seen a lot and I think are quite deserving of that libation. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  3. Great photos Larry. So nice to see some green and some mountains that are not shrouded in smoke. :/ Also, it's interesting about the beetle kill, somewhere along the line, someone told me it was still a Northern Colorado issue, and hadn't reached the southern part of the state yet.

  4. It's so fun to see you traveling thru Colorado :) I love seeing my state thru other's eyes. The route you took is one of my favorites. La Vita Pass (the one before Mt Blanca just past the Spanish Peaks) is one of the most scenic in CO IMHO :) The sand dunes which lie just beyond Mt BLanca are something to see, too. Enjoy your time in Durango, fun and beautiful spot!

  5. This days journey looks so nice. Lovely area that you are traveling through.

  6. Larry, Nice photos, especially once you crossed the continental divide! We noticed that you got a great picture of that valley that I told you was so beautiful. Your photo brought me back to our drive through the same area. Ah...memories! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  7. Bill and I just love, love, LOVE Durango, Colorado! We drove the million dollar highway while there and I had to close my eyes and PRAY for most of the drive through to Ouray, Colorado. But downtown Durango is so neat; we'd love to return for a visit!

    On to your next destination post!

  8. Are you two going all the way to California?

    I took my two kids and my daughter's boyfriend (now husband) from South Carolina to San Francisco one year . . . Bill refused to take such a long road trip with 3 teen-agers. it was a great trip, but the 3 of us pretty much hated each other by the time we returned to South Carolina! LOL!

    Can't wait to see where you post from next!

  9. I love the area around Durango. But the poor trees. My sis-in-law lives close to Denver and she says the trees in their area look that way too.
    So many great photos Larry!

  10. I just looked over your last several posts, Larry. Gorgeous views and what a beautiful trip you're having. I love Colorado! Been to Cheyenne too :) Those boulders and moose shots!

  11. Just caught up on your recent posts - wow, what a trip!!

  12. Love that area - glad you got to go! Have a cold one for me too :)

  13. Wow that valley shot is just beautiful. I can't imagine coming across in covered wagon and seeing that.


I appreciate and enjoy your comments