Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Owl Creek Pass (7/2/2017)

I've been enjoying the company of grand-daughter Lauren for several weeks, staying close to home to help her get to her two jobs (that's right, the thoroughbred farm in the mornings, volunteering at a vet clinic in the afternoons).  On Sunday she had a well deserved day off, so stayed home to clean her room and catch up on laundry.  I decided to escape to the mountains and headed for Owl Creek Pass.

Leaving Montrose, I noticed the temp was 93F, typical for the past few weeks.  As I turned off on the access road, storm clouds were forming over the mountains and the temp had dropped to 77F.  Climbing the mountain road, I began to experience thunder and lightning, but not close enough for concern.  Before reaching the top, I was in rain that soon turned to snow...those big, wet flakes that quickly covered the road with a light coating.  At the summit, just over 10,000 feet elevation, the temperature was a solid 45F.  I decided immediately not to do any hiking as I had planned.

Even after the rain stopped temporarily and the snow had melted, clouds and mist hung heavy over the mountains.  Driving a spur road that leads to some very nice campsites, I spotted a young mule deer buck with mangled horns and a large sore on its hind leg.

Back on the main road, there were good views of the Cockscomb and Chimney Rock, where the original True Grit was filmed.  There were also numerous patches of snow left over from winter.

 In the woods, I spotted an old "cowboy camp" trailer, parked there amid the trees.  No idea how long it may have been there, I don't think it could be towed away at this point.
With all the recent snow melt, Owl Creek was flowing strongly, so I took a few photos of some of the waterfalls as the creek tumbled down the mountain.

All along the road were pretty wildflowers, such as columbine, lupine and Indian paintbrush.

Taking the Middle Fork Cimarron Road, there were good views of more jagged peaks.

I passed Silver Jack Reservoir, stopping only long enough for a quick photo, then turned off on the road to Rowdy Lake.  An aging "hippie" lady camped by the road asked for a ride to the lake, since her car wasn't up to the rough spots ahead.  I assumed she lived out of the car, but it turned out she was there only for the week-end, and she works for the Federal government in Denver.  Wish I had gotten a photo of her colorful campsite and vehicle.
More wildflowers lined the road as I finished the loop and headed for home.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty beautiful pictures my friend! Glad you're back on the road again. ;-)