Sunday, August 23, 2009

Colorado: August 21, 2009 4X4 road across Ophir Pass

Since we arrived here Wednesday we have had absolutely beautiful weather. Clear blue skies with afternoon temps in the upper 70’s to low 80’s and the mornings right at freezing.

Thursday was a day of rest. Sharon’s back was more uncomfortable than usual. We did drive into Silverton and look around the area a bit. It hasn’t changed much since we were here back in the mid 1990’s.
The town of Silverton from the overlook

This pretty rock cliff is visible from our camp.

The Silverton & Ouray (pronounced U-Ray) area is noted for the hundreds of miles of back country and 4X4 roads as well as hiking trails.

Friday we drove Ophir Pass road (CR8), a 10 mile gravel, dirt & rock road suitable for 2 wheel drive going up the east side up to the pass. Going up or down the west side is definitely 4 wheel drive.

Good gravel road on the east side

Two views of mountain valley from the road

The water coming from this spring gives new meaning to the term 'white water'. Usually the term applies to rapids in a river. The color of this water is actually white from some sort of mineral in the water. Most of the white you see in the picture is residue left from the mineral so it is not quite as white as it would appear. When you see the water running down the steam it is the color of skim milk.

In the valley there are these spruce trees blown down. It is hard to tell from the picture, but all the downed trees are pointing up hill. Must have been some intense micro burst from thunder storm to cause this.

A pretty meadow and mountain tops, near the top of the pass

At the pass

Road going down the west side

Looking up the road

The road cuts across this talus slope. It is a rough & rocky road. We drove down this road to about where it exits the picture and turned around. Since we could see the view down the valley, there wasn't much more to see by going all the way down the road. The only way back from the west side is back Ophir Pass road, or to drive 70 miles around to the north on a paved highway.

In the middle of the picture above, on the talus slope, below the road is the remains of what looks like a red pickup truck which went off the road.

In the same area is this camper cover, possibly from the red pickup.

Jeep coming down the road

We are following this Jeep down the road

We stopped at a wide spot in the road to admire the view

Pretty views of rocks and mountains above the road

That’s all for Ophir Pass.

Al & Sharon

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