7.19.2004

Rocky Road

We all made it back from the camping trip okay, although a little tired. I still have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep camping. No matter what I do I keep waking up in the middle of the night because either my arm falls asleep, or my hip is sore from the hard earth. Maybe I need to invest in an air mattress, at least for car trips, because I wouldn’t want to hike carrying the extra weight. Anyway, so we started out after work on Friday driving towards Crested Butte. We came in from the west, via Glenwood Springs and Kebler Pass Road. We found a nice campsite just off the road, about 10 miles from Crested Butte. Saturday morning we headed down to town for breakfast with a couple of former employees who now live down there. The town itself is really nice, it sits in a very picturesque location with the namesake Butte to the north. The main street has this Victorian mining town charm, and real sense of history. For the afternoon we went on a scenic, but challenging, drive over Schofield Pass to the old mining towns of Crystal and Marble. The road starts out okay, just a regular old maintained dirt road, that leads to a meadow that used to be the town of Schofield. There are plenty of beautiful wildflowers, in all sorts of colors dotting the grassy meadows along the way. After this point the road gets rocky, first passing a couple of scenic waterfalls, then heading down the canyon. The Crystal River follows the canyon, and as the road follows the river, it comes to another waterfall that fills a basin called the Devil’s Puncbowl. This is the trickiest section of road, it drops nearly 400 feet to your right, and with the cliff creating a wall above to your left, this section road is only a foot or two wider than the vehicle. It is definitely one way traffic for this 1/4 mile stretch. The road is also steep and very rocky, you have to take it slow and easy as you descend, pretty much driving with only the brake. After this the road is a little less steep, and slightly wider, but would still be tough for any sort of full sized vehicle. Definitely not for cars, they don’t have the ground clearance to manage the rock strewn road. The XTerra did great, but I will say it was a little scary in some sections, but incredibly beautiful and worth it. The town at the bottom of the road has a beautiful old mill building that has been hanging precariously on top of a cliff for about 125 years. It is just an unbelievable area that has to be seen to be believed. We then took the long (but easy) way back around to Crested Butte for all-you-can-eat family style fried chicken at Slogar’s.
 
That night there was some rain, so we went to see "I,Robot" instead of going directly back to camp, it was pretty good. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the special effects were good, and there were some interesting camera angles in some of the fights. The story is interesting too, but with a familiar “technology takes over the world” premise of other recent sci-fi movies. It is set in Chicago in 2035, so it was interesting to see the futuristic skyline, mixed in with all the landmarks of course, including Sears and Hancock. But for a movie set in the future, you had to wonder where was the Trump Tower? Thankfully though, the “jellybean” was gone, so I guess you only have to suffer through it for 31 more years… just kidding. The drive back home on Sunday was a beautiful scenic drive through the Collegiate Peaks area, with views of mountains with names such as “Harvard”, “Yale”, “Princeton” and “Oxford”. All in all it was an enjoyable trip, it was fun getting to put the off-road abilities to the test, and I got to see some incredibly scenic parts of the state I had never been to before. It would have been nice to get to go on a good hike, but there are a lot of weekends left this summer, so I guess that will have to wait until another time.
 
On another note, I hope you all have a good time at the Summer Outing, I unfortunately can’t afford to fly out for it, but will be thinking of you all Friday night, have fun!