where the roads go

We started our day anticipating a morning and afternoon of painting and taking care of Moose, who was sporting a wicked eye infection after rolling in something he found to be irresistible during last weekend’s camping trip…


Saturday was a day to remember, thanks to my husbands spontaneity. Initially, we were going to be responsible home owners. We planned it all out…we’d pack up the camping gear from last week (the tent is still hanging in the garage), clean up the back yard, pick up our piles of belongings scattered throughout the house, so on and so forth. And to kick off these responsibilities, we started painting the dining room on Thursday night – a dark green and blue room from ceiling to trim, destined to become crip yellow walls topped by a clean white ceiling with beautifully contrasted gray trim – after a quick conversation of “what do you want to do tonight?” “…I don’t know, what do you want to do?” The paint had been burning a hole in the closet floor after sitting there since May and this weekend would be the the one.

Getting back to Saturday…

We felt accomplished. The ceiling and walls were complete, the trim was taped off for the final step, and the room glowed with freshness. It transitioned from a dark blue/green cave to a new warm and welcoming space unknown to exist a few days earlier! I loved it.

Then Sam said, “want to go for a ride and we’ll finish this on Sunday?”. Sold.

After a quick jaunt to the vet for the Moose, we settled the pups into their be good and keep the house safe mode, packed some lunch and Jeeping gear, and headed west. We drove route 160 through South Fork, hung a right at the split for Creede, and made our way to the Alpine Loop via Lake City. Our destination: Engineer Pass.

The day was nothing but sunshine and blue skies with swaths of gorgeous yellow and orange aspen leaves along our path. We drove over Spring Creek and Slumgullion passes (both well over 10,000 feet), explored several ghost towns (Capitol City and Animas Forks), and climbed (via Jeep) to the top of 12,800 Engineer Pass. Unreal. Now, I’m a firm believer in self-propelled adventures and have hiked mountains of this size and even summited a few 14ers in my day, but this 18 mile Jeep route from Lake City is one worth taking – if not for the nerve-wracking rock crawls, do it for the ghost towns! We didn’t actually anticipate checking out Animas Forks, but after hearing an older couple share how spectacular the views on the other side of the pass were, we couldn’t help but push on for another 5 miles to check it out. Again, amazing.

After walking through Animas Forks and having a quick chat with the only BLM law enforcement ranger I have ever seen, we drove the remaining 12 rocky/gravel miles to Silverton – all to jump back on the highway and make the long trek home.

We spent a whopping 4 hours traveling 35 miles on Jeep roads and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the day any other way.

That husband of mine never fails to remind me why I married him…see below to see why 🙂

And next weekend, I hope you get out and find your adventure. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Airdown the Jeep
::Airing down for the long ride ahead::

Airdown the Jeep BW
::He comes prepared::

Creekside at Lake City Alpine Loop
::Stopping creekside::

Capitol City Sign
::The first few miles were relatively “easy”, which makes getting to Capitol City do-able even in a Subaru::

Capitol City Cabin
::Capitol City ghost town::

4wheel drive recommended
::Where the fun begins…::

Road to Engineer Pass_
::The road to Engineer Pass::

Engineer Pass
::Engineer Pass::

Animas Forks Jailhouse
::First stop in Animas Forks: Animas Forks Jailhouse::

Ghosttown House 1
::Homes of Animas Forks::

Ghosttown House 1 News Clippings
::Newspaper clippings in Animas Forks::

Hinges
::Little details go a long way::

Front Porch View
::Ghost town with a view::

Acid Mine Drainage
::The incredibly unfortunate result of mining::

Ghosttown House 1 View
::The view toward home::

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