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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Little Bit of Jesus Christ, and A Whole Lot of Jack Daniels

Storm clouds and Flash Flood warnings have lifted, and we are treated to a snowcapped mountain surround out the amphitheater-facing Imax Window this morning. Old Man Winter has sounded the first of three foreboding gongs... a sonic pall intended to frighten Ms Autumn on down the road, shake "flowers" from limbs of quaking aspen, and break the mental death-grip Crevice dwelling mountain folk have on their "Endless Indian Summer" fantasy. 

But we managed to squeeze in another Pre-Gong hike, one that originates on the aspen lined outskirts of Silverton. It began alongside a Cemetery that overlooks town, and it's filled with a couple century's worth of long-suffering pioneers, hard rock miners, and children too fragile to survive the bitter winter environment into which they were born.

But Silverton can be a lovely place when framed in autumnal attire. Her valley glows like a low fire as we walk amongst its leafy embers, soaking up shimmering yellow wavelengths of filtered sunlight. It bestows a certain contemplative, inner-spriritual warmth that contents the most wretched and restless souls… including my own. 

But when the third gong sounds, and it will (did), Silverton is not a place for the faint of mind and spirit. At 9300 feet, it's often brutalized by Old Man Winter—isolated by avalanche across mountain pass roads—it's residents pinned "full-nelson" to their cold, icy mat. 

People have but two social outlets when snowed into Silverton: Churches and Bars. It's neither unusual nor sacrilegious to take advantage of both, "I'll have a Black Jack, and pour another one for the Reverend." It's a matter of survival, you know, a little bit of Jesus Christ… and a whole lot of Jack Daniels. An Arizona desert rat like me wouldn't survive a single winter in places like Silverton. But I could really thrive there for a couple weeks in mid to late September :))   

Now join us as we are graced by Chappell Park, the old cemetery, and on an ascension up Boulder Gulch… above the purdy trees and into thin air, soon to be filled with flurries of snow.


  1. You had me with that title. Who needs Jack when you have scenery like that?

  2. Yowza, that's some color! Send some over to Northern CA...that's where we'll be tomorrow!

  3. Really really pretty. Thanks for the postcards!

  4. Loved your title today. This is a great post with beautiful text and fabulous pictures. The color is stunning. Thanks so much!

  5. Outstanding again! And no, we never tire of your pictures. Thanks for sharing your Colorado autumn with us!

  6. Laverne says:

    Looks like heaven on earth to me....thanks again, Mark, and good luck to you and Bobbie on your long awaited escape to never never land.

  7. If I hadn't seen Lovely Ouray with my own two eyes one late September a few years ago, I would think your photos are all fake. Nothing could really be that gorgeous, right?!? But it was. I will never forget that low yellow fire, probably the most amazing thing ever. You are in the perfect place at the perfect time. Too bad that gong has to show up.

  8. I fell in love with Silverton a few years ago in early June. Would love to come back some time and see the beautiful fall color. Thanks for the fantastic photos.

  9. gotta love the fall colors in the aspens... "a little bit of Jesus Christ… and a whole lot of Jack Daniels" - look out I see a top 10 country music title in this one on the horizon...


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