view from the beginning of Piedra river trail
We learned about rock climbing at the Piedra river from a nice guy at the local gear shop. The climbing here is rated a bit stiffer than New Mexico so we were humbled a bit the first day. We climbed three 5.8 climbs the first day. Part of what made it difficult was just different rock. It is sandstone and the way it has formed is just different from what we've done so far. By the third 5.8 climb we were doing better and getting used to it.
Matthew rappelling down the last climb
Mountain lion track! Confirmed by referencing Matthews tracking book
view from our campsite
The long 5.9 climb
I hoped to return to try the 5.10a, because I felt I could do it when not worn out. It was not meant to be. We went to town and ended up talking to a very informative older gentleman at the ranger station. He made a lot of recommendations for places to see. We then enjoyed a hot spring at the edge of the river running through town for a little while. From there we did some coffee shop time and headed towards wolf creek pass, stopping along the way at a cool campsite by a river. It is odd seeing so much water after being in the desert for several months.
great little hot spring in town
Love his fashion sense
Matthew slept out with his non plastic gear to test out a new system (800 thread count sheet as a tarp shelter, alpaca fur blanket as a sleeping bag, wool poncho as a liner for extra warmth and duck canvas ground cloth. Here's a link he wrote about it - http://www.blog.smalladventures.net/2017/05/a-wool-poncho-and-working-sleep-system.html). It turned out to be a really good test evening as the temperature dropped to at least 23 degrees. I felt the chill and I was in the car with my down sleeping bag and the windows closed. I woke to seeing Matthew dancing around the car in his wool poncho. The experiment went well and he was a very happy camper.
It was only midday so we took another scenic drive to a hike we learned about from the local music shop owner along North Creek river. He said there was no official trail but the locals have kind of made there own and it's a little rough but you end up at a beautiful waterfall. We got lost a bit but found the spot. The walk in was along a road that was blocked to cars, not far in we came across a pipeline. We don't know what kind but guessed oil. We unfortunately did not get a photo but we then walked along train tracks that cross a rushing river. It was safe but still eerie. there was a slim metal walkway along the right side of the track and a thin wire you could hold on to. After that we scrambled on rocks along the left side of the river until we made it to the falls. Did I mention to see the falls we could have just driven to the top? This way was a lot more fun. We sat on a large rock enjoying the view then scrambled up to the parking lot. We walked the road back instead of traversing back across the rocks.
North creek falls
scrambling to the top
From Creede we ventured towards Lake city. We never made it into Lake city proper because we took the Alpine loop towards Silverton. The Alpine loop requires a 4x4 vehicle and was a long drive just to do half of it. We would have done the whole thing but the northern part of the loop was not cleared yet. It was a fun drive with some eeek moments when we were a little closer to the drop off than I liked. Still it was amazing and we said wow about every 5 minutes. We made it to the highest elevation we've driven so far at Cinnamon pass which is 12,640 feet, and what a view.
a lot of the drive was close to a drop off
making breakfast at campsite in near Silverton
getting tired of beautiful views yet?
the view while doing switchbacks down to the river