After that chore was done, I got some new boards from my host, Ralph, and rebuilt the rear shelf of the wagon. Itchy horses can be a little rough on it. Then I fixed a few log rails on Ralph’s paddock, and prepared a small pasture to keep the horses in. while a friend picked me up for a trip to Telluride and Silverton.
In the evening, my old friend Chris Blatter pulled in. I hadn’t seen Chris in over 20 years and it was a great reunion. He had a bad ice-climbing accident a few years ago, from which he has now mostly recovered. In the past few years, both Chris and I have sustained injuries in accidents that almost proved fatal. With a lot of determination and support from others, we both pulled through and went about living our lives.
We left Ralph’s place and headed to Telluride (via a car) to see another old friend, Jim Jennings. The three of us worked together in Arizona, at a nuclear power plant, and had a lot of fun, over 25 years ago. I was glad to see that time hadn’t tempered my old friends too much, and they could still party and have fun like the old days. The years melt away at times like this, and a 1/4 century seems like only yesterday. Chris and I spent the night in a rental condo, that Jim and his wife, Bel, own.
6/12/10, Dallas Creek, CO - In the morning, both Chris and I felt the missing 25 years, and took a little longer to get our act together, than we would have in the old days.
After breakfast, we hopped in the car and headed to Silverton, via Ophir Pass. Ophir Pass is a jeep trail that winds up a rocky, narrow road, up the side of mountain, and over a 12,000 foot pass. Last week, a bulldozer had just broke through the snow and opened the pass for the summer. The decent down the east side of the pass into Silverton was a lot easier than the west side.
A few miles outside of Silverton, Chris had purchased some old mining claims at just under 12,000 feet. He just got an ‘Improvement Permit’, and this summer is going to start construction of a cabin. In the meantime, he has an Urt type, base camp constructed. We hauled a few things up to the site (about a 1/4 mile from a ‘sort-of’ road head) and surveyed the site for damage. Since he last hiked in 6 weeks ago, there was only minor damage from a marauding bear, that managed to trash a cooler for some stored food.
After doing some work on the site and having lunch, we were prepared to leave, when a friend of Chris’s showed up, packing up a 140 pound load, consisting of a large battery and a container of water. After everybody was down the mountain, we headed back to civilization. For me, that was back to the wagon at Ralph’s Ranch, on Dallas Creek.
Ralph ran me into town to pick up a few supplies. Tomorrow morning, before I hitch up and head out, we’re going to saddle up a couple of my lads and go round up his horses. When some elk knocked down a section of fence, his horses decided they like the grass at the neighbors better, and are currently a couple of miles down the road. It’s been really great staying at Ralph’s Ranch, and I’m really going to miss his company.
Tomorrow afternoon, I’m headed back East on route 62, but this time my destination is Telluride. If Jim can find a place for the team, my goal is to visit Telluride for the Bluegrass Festival. Hopefully, things will work out.
I have pictures of today’s events, but I don’t have a Verizon signal to transfer them off my phone - I’ll try to post them tomorrow.