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Header Photo: Just an average hike on an average day in Red Canyon Country.



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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Retreat of Dirty Snow



 Out of water, out of food, low on propane and feeling desiccated as the red sand dustbowls we've been exploring, it felt good to pack up and roll home. We are now rehydrating and recovering in the blessed coolness of Lovely Ouray. Gazing into the numbers on my Box Canyon Calendar, grinning ear to ear like a circus clown, I propose a toast: Tis April eighteen, the back of Old Man Winter is broke! May he melt like a snowball in July Phoenix.  
I know, I know, I know... the Old Man still has a weak pulse. My celebration is premature as a teen orgasm. Local Old-Timers warn it can, and most probably will, spit winter in our collective face until snow melts from Horse Fly... a lofty foothill on Dallas Divide at the base of almighty Mount Sneffels. True... but it only sticks around for a day or two, and even a warmblooded desert rat mammal like me can handle that :))

Here here, another toast: Drinks on me!


Yesterday we hiked Oak Creek Trail; it winds switchback by switchback up south-facing Twin Peaks, Ouray's sentinel two-headed watchman. It was delicious. Bathed in mid-day sun and freshened by pine scented air we chirped along like a couple of spring song birds. My MoJo pulled its annual "Lazareth" and rose from death, "Risin', Risin'... Mr. MoJo Risin'..." as sure as Jim Morison whaled from my tape eating eight track player back in '71.

Our Rockies are known for reluctant springs. Couple that with anxious winters and, well, something has to give. Summer gets shortened into Danny Devito. The first (and only) thing I remember from Econ 101 is that nothing drives up value quicker than shortages... be it fuel, food, or fair weather. Barkeep, another round for my warm blooded mammal friends. Here's to the value of fair weather; hip hip, hurray!

I am presently ensconced in my favorite chair... warmed by morning sunlight flash-flooding though the Imax window. Cross-canyon, Skyrocket Creek is festive... disgorging The Blowout's winter blanket in Forth of July fashion as it topples and tumbles headlong down a series of precipitous falls. In a couple months or a couple of years it will drive turbines that power Electric Light Orchestras in Viva Las Vegas. What a waste of good water. Winter white comes to The Crevice hand over foot, but leaves drop by drop. Like bad company, winter's departure restores peace, and so, too, advancing daylight, budding trees, blooming bulbs. One final toast; To the retreat of dirty snow! 

Say goodbye to Valley of the Gods and Anasazi Spirits. We look forward to going back, when it's cooler.

        



Hanging out at home...


We only have one "snake" in Lovely Ouray. It's the curvy Million Dollar Highway that crawls over Red Mountain Pass

"Our Town"

The Blowout...


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4 comments:

  1. Mark,
    I just looked up an old travel log:

    June 22, stuck in snow driving up to Gunsight Pass outside of Crestted Butte!

    I live now central Massachusetts, with a summer home on the coast in Camden, Maine. It may not be the desert southwest, but sailing the coast of Maine is beauty personified.
    Having said that, I still miss your part of the country: but you knew that.

    Dick

    ReplyDelete
  2. The desert and mountain environments have their own beauty. Hard to leave one for the other, especially with the snow, which I'm not overly fond of. But then I will probably, and hopefully, see more snow fall at the North Rim where I'm headed.

    I love driving that million $ hwy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This flatlander from Indiana longs for the elevation of some of those south west Colorado hikes. Looks like you have a stretch of nice weather coming, sunny and high 60's. Life is good........
    John Q

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dick,
    We found the northeast bathed in Autumn's graces a few years ago. It was our first time to brave the distance and population but I knew I had to see it for myself... at least once. We crossed the breadth of Maine, to Bar Harbor. Leaf peepers not withstanding, we found New England most livable... what with its hard woods, comely Main Streets burgs and county roads.
    Winter forces my hand west tho... nearer to fair weather land my preference for summer attire and sun. One need two homes, you know.

    Gaylyn,
    You will see snow on the North Rim for sure. But when the skies clear what reward.

    John Q,
    After today, we are in for a good stretch of weather. Life is good indeed.
    thanks

    ReplyDelete

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