Many thanks to reader Jerry who reminded me of the proximity of ghost town St. Elmo. It was a good day to make the trip with clear skies and temps in the 70s. It's a drive that this southern girl would not have attempted back in the winter of 2005. In fact, the road probably isn't even open in winter.
While St. Elmo wasn't very ghostly today - lots of real-live people walking around - it still made for a fun afternoon. St. Elmo, deep and high in the San Isabel National Forest, has the distinction of being one of Colorado's best preserved ghost towns. The mining town was established in 1880.
|Outhouse among the Aspen|
The best part of the experience was the drive.
|The approach to Mt. Princeton - a fourteener.|
Again, the GDB traveled up, up, up to reach 9,960 ft. Seven miles of the route were unpaved but in good shape.
We followed a roaring creek brimming with snowmelt.
And stopped to admire a waterfall.
Oh the views! Doesn't it make you want to do a Julie Andrews?
On the way back, I stopped at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort for a long, hot, $3 shower.
|The hot springs in Winter 2005|
Then into Salida where I found a dump station and potable water next to the Chamber of Commerce and gladly paid the suggested $5 donation. I need to check my tires and my generator oil in the next few days too.
I'm parked downtown right now watching all the river fun.
|3 people, 4 dogs. (3 of the dogs had abandoned ship at this point and were on the banks, rooting the family home, as we all were).|
|Same spot in Winter 2005|
And do I have to say it? Yes ...... I live in a van by the river.
I was tempted to make the drive to Black Canyon of the Gunnison today but might have kicked myself later for doing too much. I think it was the right decision as I'll have an early dinner, an early Skype with John and Doris, and squeeze in some white hot crossword action before bedtime.