Sunday, July 18, 2010

Imogene Pass... "Short Wheelbase, High Clearance Vehicles Only"...

Hmmm... a quad cab dually is "short wheelbase"... ain't it? :o)

But... before we ever got to that part of the day, Heidi and Sebastian started the day off flippin' the frisbee for Buck...


That kid really likes the dogs... and Buck, who don't really warm up to many kids is startin' to take a liking to that Lil' Dane! ... but it was a warm morning... so Buck finally said; "Ya Know?... I think I'll just shade up an' call it quits!"


So... at that point the Wagon Master gave out the instructions for the day... :o)


... just before we loaded up and headed up the Mountain... as it turned out... He might want to go into real estate... seems he might could sell the Brooklyn Bridge! :o)

The road to Imogene Pass starts out of town on the same trail you follow to Yankee Boy Basin... until it turns off at the Camp Bird Mine...

Now... Ol' Mark had assured Miss Heidi... who is NOT a 4X4 sort of a Gal... that the road was a lot better than that track up to Yankee Boy...

There was some discussion through the day as to what constitutes "Better". :o) ... I guess the road had had a tough winter, and was a mite rougher than the Artful Bloggers last trip over it. But no matter, low range and 1st or 2nd gear and that Ol' Dodge will climb a tree if you can find the traction... and Miss Heidi just kept her eyes closed and dreamed of freeways...

As tough as that Ol' truck is... he still needed to cool his tires a time or two, on creek crossings...


It's a glorious country up there... you almost can't make any progress, 'cause every six feet ya have to stop so you can jump out to capture another photograph... Mark didn't remember it takin' so long... guess he'd never run a mountain much with me... and hadn't yet learned from the previous day... I'm Slow... in the Mountains!


Along in the early part of the climb we run across an Old Gold Hunter that goes by the name of Walter... this 90 something year Ol' codger is ramblin' around the mountains in a lil' Ford Ranger, collecting 5 gallon buckets of black sand, to take home and pan for the Gold in it...

Claims he's got 100 ounces of Gold collected... hmmm... $1000 bucks or so an ounce... his wallet ain't hurtin'!

Ya kind of get the idea of what toots his whistle by the embroidery on his shirt...


The thing 'bout this Ol' Timer... that kept confounding us all was... we'd pull out, and he'd wave good bye... we'd run a mile or so up the Mountain, on this two wheel track... round a bend... and there'd be Walter... in front of us! ... Huh?... how'd he get here? there ain't no way... but there'd that Ol' man be... bucket an' shovel... rootin' around in some old mine ruins... collecting more black sand...

I'm startin' to think that Ol' Walter is a ghost! and just appears where he damn well pleases! :o)

The part we all though was so funny was when at the first place we met him he complained; " Somebody brung machinery in here, you can see the tracks, and loaded up all my dirt... it was piled up all through here... and it's gone! somebody took all my dirt and I left it right here, 10 years ago!" :o)

Mark and Sebastian did what they could to pick the Ol' fellas brain for tips on Huntin' Gold...



Hell of an Old man... I should be so lucky to still be ramblin' the High Up and Lonesome when I'm 90 something!

That was the place too, where Margarethe got feeling Statuesque.


and Bobbie claimed she'd let Mark hang around... even if he was kinda light in the Gold department... or was it him keepin' her?... hmmm... Walter's already got me beat in the brain pan dept!


But we'd miles to go... so up the Mountain we climbed... ever higher...

Now there's them that claim they took Pickups with cabover campers up this road... uh huh... and I've got a High Mountain cabin on the Kansas Plains I'll make ya'll a hell of a deal on! :o)

'cause when you look where we're goin'...


and remember where we've been...


It just gets a trifle difficult for a fella to buy that story... Now, I'm not a real squeemish sort of guy... but when my parts are puckerin' juuuuust a lil'... as we lean and scramble over rocks and rubble... and the truck feels like it's just a liiiiiiittle to tall for this... I find it real hard to imagine a big Ol' cab over makin' it through...

But... stranger things have happened I guess... 'course... every year... they gotta go haul folks outa there who thought they could handle things they couldn't... so... I'll just let that'un go. :o)

You climb up that Mtn... ever closer to Imogene Pass... and the views and the sights and the glorious, soul filling grandeur of the place just makes you grin... unless of course... you're Heidi... sitting in the back seat... plotting her revenge! :o)

I gotta hand it to her though... she was a good sport through it all... four wheelin' is really not her cup-o-tea... and she kept a smile on her face all day... and still grins a lil'... as she's whackin' Mark with a big Ol' stick...




So... we finally made it all the way to the top... and Mark went to tryin' hard to get out of trouble... lot's of big Ol' hugs an' such... he's a smooth one for sure! :o)


John Q... standing on the Precipice, overlooking the Red Mountains... at 13,114 feet, atop Imogene Pass

Walden Steve, Wagon Master Mark, John Q, Heidi, Brian, Bobbie, Sebastian and Margarethe... on Top of the World! Hooha!

Retired Mailman Steve... now Walden Steve... thought he should finally make delivery of some long lost mail... up at 13,114 feet in the Colorado Rockies...


The part that had my head swellin' was when a few guys pulled up behind the Ol' Battered Dodge... in a tricked out Tundra... with likely $50,000 of lights and bars, and fancy wheels/tires... winches... all the foofooraw for four wheelin' in tough country... and jus' 'bout dropped his teeth... to see my Ol' widebody, flatbed, dually ranch truck sittin' there like it was on a shoppin' trip to Wal Mart!

"You got that up here?!!! You must be really good... or Crazy!"... :o) ... my reply... "Yup!... a lil' bit of both!"

...but then we had to start on down The Other Side... kind of like the CW McCall song... Wolf Creek Pass... where one turn looked "kinda like a Malaria Germ!"...


I believe... Heidi's eyes close again for a while... I did get her to take a look as we got closer to the bottom though... You Have to look at Bridal Veil falls... absolutely gorgeous!

First, off in the distance... and then... when you zoom on in... ya just want to sit and soak up the country... how do you like that road to the left of it... kinda fun huh? :o)

... and looking some more at our back trail, that we'd just rolled through...


I've got a few more... and even one or two from where Mailman Steve was tryin' to convince me the cable of the Gondola was crackin'... on our ride up the mountain in that... once we got to Telluride... but google is likely gettin' cranky for all the pics I posted today...

... and we gotta get our stuff together... takin' a hike up on Red Mountain Pass... and a run into Silverton today!... so I'll finish this trip up tomorrow!

Boondocked in the front yard in Ouray!
Brian

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3 comments:

Cindy K. said...

Alright! I was hoping you'd go see Telluride. We went there a few years back. We were doing Moab,Canyonville,Dead Horse at that time. Another camper told us to go to Telluride for the Blue Grass Festival so we did. Rode the Gondola and had a wonderful day! Your pictures up that Pass are awesome! Glad the truck was up for it.

Wandrin said...

The journey up Yankee Boy Basin (and beyond) is a bummer -- especially the 4x4 parts. Lots of bouncing. Hard on the back and butt. I'd rather walk. I did.

Brian said...

know what ya mean Lloyd! Heidi had her eyes closed most of the way! :o)