Monday, June 25, 2007

Do we stop in Colorado?

You bet we do!! Oh-Be-Joyful is hard to beat. I first ran it back in 2000, and I dragged David there for his first runs in 2005. It may well be the easiest 400 foot mile around, but that doesn't mean its not still class 5. So remember: Oh-Be-Careful!

There are a couple shots of Daisy and the Upper East here too.

Clear Creek of the Arkansas is a nice continuous class 4+ run with little box canyons and ghost town buildings.

Speaking of ghost towns...

This one is called Ironton and it sits at 11,000 feet in elevation. It's one of many towns that sprung up near the old silver mines in Red Mountain that thrived in the 1880's. There is even a ghost town called Chattanooga there! The Yankee Girl mine was in operation until the 1930's but its most profitable years were before the Silver Panic in 1893. Ironton once had over 1000 residents, but the last resident died in the mid 1960's. Several fires have taken their toll on the ghost towns in this area. Its definitely worth checking out if you are traveling from Ouray to Silverton, Colorado. There is a narrow gauge railroad track following the Animas River to Durango. We spent a day on Lime Creek, which is also in the area. Check back for a video clip of Adrenaline Falls! South Mineral is also nearby, which I have run, but rumor has it that it is full of logs now.

On another note, if you haven't mountain biked in Crested Butte or Salida, you are really missing out. The single track is incredible.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's South Rim is worth a look if you are in central Colorado.

Can you see the horizon through the natural rock arch below?

Mesa Verde National Park was our final stop in Colorado. The cactus were in full bloom both here and at the Black Canyon.

This is the cliff dwelling by the park museum. We were allowed to walk around the dwellings and even descend into a kiva. Kivas are round pool-like areas within the dwellings that are believed to be a sacred religious worship area for the ancient ones that lived here.

Below is the Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde's largest cliff dwelling. It was discovered in the late 1800's by two cowboys. The dwellings are estimated to be built around 1200 AD.

These pictographs are a 6 mile hike, but it is worth it. Bring water!

Mesa Verde had a breathtaking sunset that evening. After enjoying it, we headed to Moab for a day of mountain biking, or was it 'baking'! Then we were on to Idaho.