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"You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going,
because you might not get there."
~ the one and only Yogi Berra
There are days when I've felt like that! Gotta love some of the classics that guy came up with.

Jim and I both slept well our first night back in the camper, although the beeping of our CO2 monitor’s low battery woke us up at 5 AM. We spent the night parked out in front of a friends' house in Silverton. The house is empty so we'll spend one more day here, then head to Colorado Springs tomorrow.

Near the beginning of the road up Kendall Mountain

It rained during the night and early morning, “dampening” my desire to hike up the Ice Lake Trail to see what it looks like now. I’m too tired anyway.

There was a 60% chance of rain today, but it remained sunny/partly cloudy all day with no rain. It was 57 F. when we got up at 7:30 AM and in the low 80s later. That's very warm for Silverton. After sweltering in the 90s and 100s (with humidity to boot) all last week, the low 80s feel pretty good to us right now! 

View toward Silverton as I begin my ascent on Kendall Mountain

I spent most of the morning inside catching up on e-mail and websites and typing notes from the past week. It was tough to be without my computer all week; Jim had his laptop but we left my PC in Silverton during our hasty trip to Ohio.

While editing photos I remembered that I didn't post pictures from my hike part way up Kendall Mountain last Saturday. I'm going to include scenes from that hike in this entry plus some more pictures I took today in town and around the ponds at the base of the mountain.


After watching the lead runner finish Hardrock the second morning of the race, Cody and I walked up the nearby Jeep road on Kendall Mountain about 3˝ miles to the 11,000-foot level.

Our camper was parked about 200 feet from the beginning of the little dirt road, which starts off well but quickly gets steep and rocky.


As you can see from these pictures, the scenery is great in all directions and the clouds were "photogenic." Note that the Hardrock race does not use this road.

This is the first time I've gone as far up Kendall mountain as I did last Saturday. The road I used branches off in three directions -- toward Deer Park Gulch, toward Kendall Peak (13,451 feet), and toward the peak of Kendall Mountain (13,066 feet). I turned around before I really wanted to because of threatening weather from the south.

These photos are in the order I took them going up the mountain. Some of them, like the one just above, are looking backwards.

Looking north from town



There were large clumps of Columbines in a couple places.

This cute little blue spruce is only about 18 inches tall. See the new spring growth?

This road makes a large arc on the north and west shoulders of the hulking mountain.

At this point I was already paralleling high above US 550 south of town. The highway is also several hundred feet above the Animas River and the track that carries the popular steam train between Silverton and Durango.

Thirteeners Sultan Mountain and Grand Turk dominate the skyline to the west:

Looking SW to Grand Turk

Grand Turk (L), elev. 13,165 feet, and Sultan Mountain (R), elev. 13,368 feet

I wouldn't want to slide off US 550; it's a steep drop to the river!
Note the old mine near the bottom of the rock slide.

Looking north again; US 550 goes that direction toward Ouray.

Above and below:  photos of colorful Anvil Mountain (11,373 feet) look like Monet paintings.



More columbines in a sunny spot along the road; I'm well over 10,000 feet elevation now.

After a couple miles the road arcs to the east above Kendall Gulch and gains elevation quickly along a pretty creek bordered with flowers:

Looking back down the road and toward Grand Turk and Sultan mountains.


I saw very few people on this hike -- one runner I don't know, three hikers, several folks riding three ATVs, and more in four Jeeps.

I actually know one of the hikers, Carolyn Erdman:

Carolyn is an ultra runner. She and her husband Eric live in town and are very involved with the race but I hadn't seen either of them until this hike. It was good to talk with her for a few minutes.

I continued about half a mile beyond this point, above the intersection with an even smaller 4WD road that goes southeast along Deer Park Creek and a trail to Arrastra Basin.

I continued up the main road:

Looking back down the road again



I continued a few hundred feet past the point I took the next picture, then turned around when I noticed increasingly dark clouds to the south.

Soon after that, it started sleeting. Uh, oh.

I was ready, though. Even on a day that's warm and sunny in the valleys, I know to carry clothing and supplies for fickle mountain weather at the higher elevations. If necessary I could whip out my Marmot Precip jacket, gloves, and/or a fleece hat.


Photos continued on the next page . . .

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the Ultra Lab

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© 2011 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil