Blog Five and Final, Dates: September 1 – September 24, 2022
(To view previous Blogs 1-4, click on additional pages at the bottom this Blog 5)
This was inadvertently left out of Blog 4: Tuesday, August 23 – With the urging of Mountain Views Resort “MVR” friends, good friend and neighbor Bob Holt sponsored Bill for Elks membership and at the initiation meeting good friend Terry Piel pinned Bill with the membership pin. There was not a photo with Terry. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, also often known as the Elks Lodge or simply The Elks is an American fraternal order founded in 1868. The Elk’s Lodge in Creede, Colorado is very active in supporting the Creede Community. They provide helping hands for the annual Headwaters’ Music Festival and extend their support to several other local Creede charitable organizations.
This was inadvertently left out of Blog 4: Wednesday, August 31 – Old Carson City Ride with Group was very nice and we met several new couples and friends of the Coopriders. The ride included beautiful views of Heart Lake and lunch in an abandoned “ghost” town (old mining camp) off of Wager Gulch. Karen’s first experience with a “Camp Robber,” aka “Steller Jay” bird. Karen’s love for nature – birds, flowers, all of God’s wonderful creation, had her attention when she first saw this beautiful bird, full wing span diving down towards us as we ate our lunch in the scenic historic town. Doug Howard told her what kind of bird it was and instructed if she held out her hand up with food in it, the bird would dive down and take it right out of her hand. The horrified look on her face, says it all. Doug demonstrated and confessed that he did actually feel the bird’s talons on his hand as the bird took the food from him, although not painful.
Shahn & Leslie’s Visit: Shahn and Leslie surprised us with spur-of-the-moment plans for a Labor Day weekend visit without the children, our grandchildren. Our friends, the Holts have a Mini Rockwood RV travel trailer that they keep in storage for out-of-town guests and they offered it up for our guests to borrow. Shahn only had to secure a nearby space in the section reserved for nightly park rentals. This made it nice and convenient for us to get together at our campsite for meals and visits.
They arrived on Friday afternoon just in time to use the tickets we purchased for the evening live performance of “Sherwood” SHERWOOD – Creede Repertory Theatre. It was a very good performance, in the smaller theater which made the audience closer to all the onstage action. Karen signed up as a volunteer at the Creede Repertory Theater and volunteered several times through the 2022 Season. Every time you volunteer, you receive a voucher and two vouchers are equivalent to one ticket entrance to a live performance, although the tickets to Sherwood were purchased without using vouchers.
On Saturday, the Holts kindly offered to loan their 2-seat Side-by-Side UTV (SxS) so that with our 2-seat KRX UTV, we all four were able to ride together. Bill and Karen drove the Holt’s SxS while Shahn and Leslie drove our KRX SxS. We did a full day’s outing in the UTV’s on a trail ride up through the Creede Canyon and around Bachelors Loop branching up to the Continental Divide and then looping back down Rat Creek Trail. Finally, extending through Middle Rat Creek Trail and finishing at the McKenzie Mountain Trail. Shahn thoroughly enjoyed the ride, commenting later that he should purchase one and leave it in Creede for others to use when they were not visiting. Sunday Shahn and Leslie took the Last Chance Mining Museum tour https://lastchancemine.com/.
Sunday night, we invited the Holts to join the four of us for dinner in our campsite gazebo. Shahn assisted with making an awesome, huge appetizer tray which was all eaten before dinner. Leslie demonstrated her wonderful floral arranging skills by making a couple of vases of fresh flowers for the table from Karen’s summer flower garden. After dinner, all of us went across the street and joined our good friends Brian, Maggie, Jim and Debbie (also lovingly referred to as the ‘Florida Boys’) and several other couples at their Rio Grande riverside bonfire. Due to the danger for forest fires, Colorado banned wood-burning fires except for covered deep pits built on the banks of rivers or lakes. MVR permits wood-fires at 2-riverside locations and one of those is at the Florida Boys campsite. Brian is a retired fireman and MVR allows him access to an almost unlimited supply of scrap firewood from the MVR construction pile where Brian gets the wood for building these huge bonfires for everyone to enjoy at their Florida Boy’s riverside site.
On Labor Day, Shahn and Leslie departed. Labor Day was a quiet day except for going over to our neighbors for viewing fireworks hosted by MVR. It started out as another nice display of fireworks until there was a fireworks malfunction about ¾ of the way through the exhibit and it ended early.
One of the things that brought us to Creede was hearing about how good fly fishing is in the Rio Grande. We came prepared with our waders, and new fly-rods and planned to fish most of the 2022 season. Bill purchased an annual fishing license to fish with the guys visiting in July (Dean, brother-in-law, and his friend Kevin), and had only used his license one time. We had talked to our good fishing friend, Terry Cooprider, who is an experienced fly-fisherman, as well as our former Pastor, Bro. Hutson who has been visiting Creede to fly fish for many, many years. Karen purchased an end-of-the-season 5-day pass since it was September and we were winding down the season with her not fishing one time. And, with the Coopriders, set a day to fly-fish at North Clear Creek where we understood it was great fishing. When we arrived at the fishing site, Bill and Karen were a little taken aback as we had never fished in such a narrow, shallow-flowing river. You could hear the river flowing from the parking area, however, there was no visual sight of it until hiking down through weeds/brush, and then the narrow, shallow river appeared. Our fly-rods were much too long to attempt casting out, you basically just dropped your line into the stream of clear shallow water. Karen was not optimistic about catching any fish, since the water was so clear and there were no visible sign of any fish. She caught up to Terry who had hiked quite a ways down the stream and was catching fish, and just when she thought it was impossible, she caught a small Brookie. We did not keep any of the fish. Terry suggested we purchase shorter fly-rods for this type of fly-fishing.
A few people had suggested we visit Big Meadow Reservoir, outside of South Fork, CO, which is not far down the road from the Platora Trail ride we had taken a few times this season. After a trip to the Walmart in Pagosa Springs with the Coopriders, we took a drive through Big Meadows located in the San Juan Mountains in south-central Colorado, about 11 miles west of South Fork. We were told it’s a great fishing lake, although we did not fish it this season.
Crusin’ the Canyons – Fall Colors Truck, Motorcycle, and Car Show, is an annual antique car show in Creede https://www.creede.com/cruisin-the-canyon-car-show. Main Street is lined with a kaleidoscope of colors and the public is welcome to stroll through the variety of vintage vehicles, enjoy the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s music, and vote on their favorites. The next day, with Sunday morning breakfast and Fly-In at the Mineral County Airport. Dozens of planes come in and out of the valley, putting on quite the show!
We were glad we stayed further into September this year, as last year we left early September and missed all the Fall colors. This year we were able to see and enjoy the bright yellows and oranges that make for a beautiful fall season in Creede.
Collage of Flower Pics in 2022
Karen is amazed and thankful for the beautiful wildflowers that bloom with no one fussing over them, no one fertilizing them, no one trimming them or hand watering them, our God takes care of them in His own ways for our enjoyment! Matthew 6:26-29
Our draft plans for our pavilion was submitted to the MVR Construction Office with an estimated date to be built this winter in time for next season. Hopefully when we return, we will be able to enjoy a larger, covered outdoor space. Regrettably, just like most builders in the US, MV Construction is suffering from a lack of available construction crews. There are people who are expecting their cabins and pavilions to be built in the 2022 season who are still waiting.
Thursday, we trailered our Kawasaki SxS to storage at Outdoor Depot in South Fork. On Friday, September 23, our last full day in Creede, we prepared for our departure set for Saturday morning. Preparation requires removing the gazebo covers, loading up our newly purchased patio furniture, and storing a few things in storage. Later that evening we enjoyed a Mexican dinner in South Fork with our good friends Terry & Sue Cooprider who were also preparing to head back to their home in Florida. We prayed for their safe trip since hearing the news of an impending hurricane heading for Florida.
Saturday, September 24, departed later than planned, made a long drive, and arrived after dark in Dalhart TX – Corral RV Park. Our second night, after a long day’s drive was spent in Sanger TX – KOA Camp. We needed to go back to Choate’s Upholstery in Ft. Worth and drop off our newly reupholstered RV sofa for a redo and decided it would be best to just spend the night close to their shop so we could take it to the shop in the morning before heading home. We made it home by 4 pm on Monday, September 26.
This 2022 Season we visited quite a few new SxS trails and there are still many more to visit:
- Wheeler Geological Trail. Trip with the Coopriders along with their sister and brother-in-law.
- Old Carson City Trail, Heart Lake. Trip with 5-couples, 4 of which we met for the first time. After the ride Doug & Jane Howard invited us to dinner at their MVR cabin.
- Copper Creek Falls, Love Lake with Doug and Susan Noble. Trip with 6-couples, a few we met for the first time.
- Seepage Road, Ghost Lake and Seepage Lake. Trip with the Coopriders
- Lake City (trailered, first time), American Basin, Alpine Loop Trail, includes Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass. Trip with the Coopriders
- Creede Canyon, Bachelor’s Loop, Continental Divide, Rat Creek, Middle Rat Trail, McKenzie Mountain with Shahn and Leslie and the Coopriders
- Kite Lake, Trip with Coopriders
- Big Meadow Lake, with the Coopriders after Pagosa Springs Walmart in their new GMC Denali.
- Fishing Trip at North Clear Creek, Trip with Coopriders
- Lake City (trailered, second time), no American Basin this time, Reverse Alpine Loop Trail still includes Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass for a fast trip with a group of 5-couples lead by Gary and Lisa. This trip was on the same day as the Elk’s Progressive Bingo final night. With a $2,040 black-out prize up for grabs, group leader Gary said we needed to do the loop quick, “drive your SxS like you just stole it”. We started the SxS trail at 9:30 am and finished at 2:00 pm. Had lunch in Lake City and made it back to Creede in plenty of time for Bingo. Too bad Bill got a speeding ticket for driving 38 mph (Lake City’s speed limit is 25mph).