Weekend in Creede

July 21st and 22nd 2018 - Today the drive into Creede was mountainous and as exciting as the previous days.  We drove past the waterfalls and the beautiful lush bottom lands which were rich with runoff from the mountains.  When we left Leadville we continued on in the White River National forest and eventually entered a large valley between Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Rio Grande Forest for a long straight line drive with mountains on both sides to a county road which took us west to Del Norte.  Here we picked up 160 to South Fork and the Rio Grande River.  At South Fork we pick up the Silver Thread Scenic Byway which runs along the Rio Grande all the way up to Creede.  

The town was just as we left it two months prior.  The only difference was that a  few more businesses had awoke from their winter slumber and summer had arrived and the town was in full swing.  We checked into the Mountain Views at Rivers Edge RV resort and claimed a spot next to a fellow from Fort Worth in a triple axle fifth wheel.  Once we unloaded our site things we feasted on some barbecue we picked up in town.  

With several hours of daylight left we decided to drive up The Silver Thread Scenic Byway about 27 miles to Clear Creek Falls.  By the time we got there a mountain storm had started to develop leaving behind quite a bit of small pea sized hail where we parked.  We waded over and got a very good view of the falls and took lots of pictures.  Then we headed on back to camp to settle in for the evening. 

The next morning we got up and James fixed a tasty breakfast.  When clean up was finished we drove over to Creede and found the town bustling with activity.  There was a sculpture art show going on and all the shops were open.  We did the grand tour and visited many of the shops but regretted to make arrangements to attend a play at one of the playhouses.  When our feet grew tired we hopped in Chappy and drove past town a little ways to the old structures left from the silver mining days.  

There was hardly any activity going on and the three or four folks coming into this area were only passing through to drive the Bachelor’s Loop which we did on our previous visit.  We stopped here so I could fly my drone.  I launched and the 400 ft. altitude seemed barely off the ground as the towering mountains surrounding us were much higher.  I flew around a little on a battery that had about 53% power and landed to put in a fresh one.  I got some good pics and vids and the second battery announced it was low on charge.  I wanted to get just a few more pics so I stayed up a minute or so longer then told the drone to land.  I tried to make it land in a different spot other that  the GPS coordinate where it took off.  The extra time it took caused the drone to take command and it almost slammed into the side of the mountain while positioning itself for an emergency landing.  Fortunately I was able to move it over and get it on the ground.  Whew!

From the silver mines we drove back up the Silver Thread Scenic Byway to seek out the headwaters of the Rio Grande River.  We had driven by a sign pointing to the headwaters of this almost 2000 mile long river and we wanted to see where it begins.  The drive was half the way to the falls we had visited the day before.  Then another 12 miles on an unpaved road and up a narrow canyon to the Rio Grande Reservoir.  We encountered a small storm as we entered the canyon giving Chappy some cool looking off road dirt.  The reservoir was beautiful and the walls of the canyons bore the scars of fires and floods.  But everything together with the large lakes from mountain run off forming the headwaters for a river that would flow all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  Now we have to make ourselves prepared to go see it at the other end.  We spent some time photographing the headwaters and then headed back to Creede for our last evening in this special place.  It was comfortable.  

cokepoe@gmail.com CokePoe.com 2018