Friday, July 7 - More Jeeping

Up at 8:00 and on the road by 9:00. Headed towards Engineer Pass and the ghost town of Animas Forks. This trip is now part of The Alpine Loop, a Federally funded jeep byway. It's not paved, it's just jeep roads. The funds were used to build outhouses and to put up signs along the way. Nice. The Walsh House is still standing. Other houses in Animas Forks are falling in though. We walked around after the long bumpy climb to the ghost town. Its about 11,000 feet in altitude. Left Animas Forks and headed up California Gulch to see if the old truck is still there. It was. Stopped at the Gold King Mill. Massive timbers. Mill is falling in still. Snow everywhere. Couldn't drive much further up the gulch. Back to the Engineer Pass road. It's open all the way to the top. Lot's of Jeeps. More snow than we've ever seen in 25 years. Turned around and back down to the cutoff to Ouray. Took the road towards Ouray. Much rougher. Had to creep down due to roughness of the road. Tried to make a side trip to Mineral Point , another ghost town and mill. Too wet and steep, road washed out, almost got stuck. Rough road continues all the way to US Highway 550. Glad to get off it. A paved road makes the jeep drive like a new Cadillac. Drove on into Ouray and ate a late (3:30) lunch and checked the town out. Much more modern than Silverton. Left Ouray and took the highway back to Silverton. Turned Jeep in at 5:00 PM. Stayed in town to watch the famous gunfight. Morty the mortician is gone, Campground Al is gone. Only lasted 10 minutes or so. Not as good as prior years. Back to camp. Washed hair just before sunset. Walked around campground and visited with neighbors. Someone else has an Apache ( a 76 model). They have been coming to South Mineral CG for 30 years. Seems like there a lot of us that like this old campground. (Note - Apache's are unique popup trailers in that they have no canvas, just hard sides that fold in and down. When the sides are up it looks like a hard sided trailer, but folds down like a regular popup. The Apache Company went out of business in 1980. )

Last Update: 04/21/96
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