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Gold Point

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2 years 3 months ago #115 by Qnet
Qnet replied the topic: Gold Point
I'm not Herb, I just reposted his trip report here, thought it was worth sharing.

I will be returning to Chile and the Atacama Desert this winter, lithium and hot springs!

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2 years 3 months ago #110 by D.A. Wright
D.A. Wright replied the topic: Gold Point
Hey Herb! I haven't heard you talk so much since that day in 2000 when Alan Patera and I dropped by for a schnapps and beer chaser when you were extending the saloon!

Hard to believe I left Big Pine all those years ago for the Winnemucca area. Retired now and enjoying the Nevada life.

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2 years 3 months ago #108 by camapper
camapper replied the topic: Gold Point
What a great write-up, I'm glad you had such a good time. You brought back memories for me of the San Juan's and the "Little Switzerland of America". Thank you and we can compare photos the next time I get through Gold Point.

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2 years 3 months ago #107 by Sparky of Socal
Sparky of Socal replied the topic: Gold Point
Nice report,much better read than my news page. I know rain can be a pain sometimes but it does clean the trees and plants off and the smells are great.

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2 years 3 months ago #105 by David_Bricker
David_Bricker replied the topic: Gold Point
Thanks for posting such a great report. It was a wonderful read.

I know posting trip reports can be a pain, and one never seems to find the time to do it, myself included. So, I thank you for this one.

David Bricker / SYR

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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 3 months ago #91 by Qnet
Qnet created the topic: Gold Point
I'm passing this along from the original poster, left out all the hotlinks so that it would post here, sorry for the confusion,


We’ll it’s been a while since the last newsy letter.

Don’t have a lot about Gold Point to tell you about but if you’re interested and curious about where to go in Colorado I’ll be telling you about our vacation at the end of June after a few small bits of info.

First off we had another great Memorial Day weekend with about the same attendance as last year. Not like the old Chili Cook-off days when we had hundreds and hundreds of guests but us old people were ok with it. Maria and Mike from Pahrump entertained us every night with a great variety of music. The Las Vegas hiking club joined us again with around, I think, 30 or so good people. We thank everyone who came for the weekend or for the day.

I was just informed by the U.S. government Monday that I’m old!!! Yes, I got my Medicare Card in the mail!! I’ll turn 65 this November. That means, according to the Gypsy fortune teller in Virginia City, Nevada, that I’m down to 21 more years of life. Back in 1984 I had my palms read for past, present and future things about my life. I was told that I would never be rich but would have money to live on. So far this is true because I’ve yet to win the Lottery. That I would have good health. So far this is working out. Just got to remember to take my pills every day. Lastly I was told I’d live until I was 86. I went back twice after that and was told the same fortune. So there you have my future.

So if you’re thinking of visiting me you’re down to just 21 years to get it done!!

I thought the following, direct from Nevada Magazine, might be interesting to some of you who live in or close to Nevada that might want to participate.


On the heels of a successful inaugural run, the Nevada Magazine Silver State Scavenger Hunt is back! In 2015, participants traveled tens of thousands of miles, explored nearly every nook and cranny in the state, and truly earned the title of Nevada explorer.

This year, Nevada Magazine has selected locations in each of Nevada’s territories (Cowboy Country, Reno-Tahoe, Pony Express, Nevada Silver Trails, Las Vegas, and Indian) in hopes of promoting visitation to those areas. We have also created a promotional poster (attached), which can be printed and displayed in territory offices and in businesses across the state.

We’ve decided to celebrate ghost towns this year, highlighting some of the most iconic and important mining camps and early sites in Nevada’s history. Like last year, we’ve split the state into two zones—Northern and Southern—and chose 14 notable ghost towns in each. Participants must pick a zone, visit 10 of the 14 locations in that zone, snap a photo holding the July/August 2016 issue of Nevada Magazine at each location.

We’re once again teaming up with Land Rover, who will be providing this year’s prizes. Prizes include a Land Rover Weekend Getaway, which includes an overnight stay in Gold Point—a living ghost town in southern Nevada rich in history and excitement.

The official list of destinations will be published in the July/August 2016 issue of Nevada Magazine. Until that time, the complete list of locations will remain confidential; however, if you would like to know which locations have been selected in your territory,

Nevada Magazine is also accepting preorders for its Ghost Towns & Historic Sites map! This Nevada treasure come jam-packed with historical information, color photographs, ghost town trip itineraries, park and territory information, fun facts, a large state map showing the locations of hundreds of ghost towns, and more. Details can be found at
Land Rover of Las Vegas has been coming here for years for an overnight stay, food and a desert tour. We look forward to their visit again this November 5th , my birthday, with the winner and the rest of the group.

No “Tales from the Not so Old West” this time. Instead, for those interested, we’ll tell you about our trip to Colorado.

I know you’re wondering why it’s August and you’re just now reading this when we got back July 6th . Well, I needed time to recoup and go to California to see my Dad and Sandy’s Mom and just plain be lazy once in a while in this intense heat wave of 100 degrees we are having.

Also its going to take time to write this and look up and put in all the links to all the places we went so you can look them up and see where you want to go.

I’ll try to be brief, unless there is something special to mention, and if you want more info you can just follow the links to see photos and information of all the places we visited.

I also know this is going to be long and not everyone will spend the time to read through it. But for us it’s kind of a diary of what we did to look back on when we’re older and grayer.

We left Gold Point for Vegas in the afternoon of Sunday the 19th to stay the night with our friends Ken & Debra before being picked up by our friends Gary & Renee in their slightly even more used Jeep the next morning. Remember them from our scenic train trips last October??

We’ll, Monday morning bright and semi early we were picked up and on our way to Colorado with a stop off in Monument Valley Utah!!! We got all the way to the end of the street when Sandy said we had to go to Starbucks for coffee. Oh we’ll.

After Sandy had her Starbucks fix we headed out and had a nice morning trip to Cedar City where we stopped for lunch at the Cracker Barrel. Good food but we waited too long to get it because there were short staffed.

We drove thru Zion National Park on our way to Monument Valley, . I’ve been to lower Zion area before but never drove all the way thru. Wow!! Mother Nature sure did a great job.

We got to Goulding’s ,Trading post, Gary & Renee have not been here or pretty much anywhere I had planned on this trip. So our first historical place to visit was John Wayne’s cabin. It was built for the movie She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Only the exterior was used in the movie. The interior shots were done in Hollywood. It was sort of fixed up like in the movie. We then went through the first of many museums on this trip, the Goulding’s store and upstairs their home. John Ford and John Wayne made many movies in Monument Valley
It was getting late on our first day so we headed east to Towaoc to stay the night in the Ute Mountain Casino. If it sounds familiar it is. That’s where we spent the last day of our vacation last October and won a jackpot to pay for that trip. We didn’t win but $40 this time but we were using our $2500 we won last year to spend on this trip.

We left our hotel heading North and our first stop Tuesday after an hour’s drive was in Dolores at their train museum run by the Galloping Goose Historical Society / . It was a cute little museum housed in an old depot with a galloping gray goose sitting out front. The railroad was part of the Rio Grande Southern.

Ok, on to Ophir town and Ophir pass . This website has some great photos of the town and the pass. The pass is around 11,800 feet and we had to go thru snow drifts higher than our Jeep on both sides to get to it, just like in the photos on the website. What a view looking down on both sides of the pass!! It was so high up that Sandy didn’t even light up!!

We were all starting to get hungry so we headed down the mountain and around the mountain and over to Telluride, /states/co/telluride.html . Mining is no longer the driving force of revenue. It is now skiing and tourism. It was a good looking old town with its brick buildings and such. We didn’t walk around much. We decided to have food from the street vendors. I went for a spicy polish dog. After walking around a short time more it was time to head to Ouray for our next hotel and dinner and sleepy time.
Galloping Goose Historical Society of Dolores I
Ouray , what a beautiful town in a beautiful valley surrounded by tall mountain peaks.
We walked up and down main street. It’s a small town so it didn’t take long to look around. The main highway was main street. To prepare for the next day of mines and mining camp exploration we went to different places to ask questions and buy a book on the area with maps and directions to where we wanted to go. This is the first town where we saw where they rented off road vehicles of all sizes for the city slickers and low landers who want to explore the back country.
Right after breakfast we went up the mountain a little east of town and did a short hike up to Cascade Falls. Gary and I went all the way to the base of the falls and Renee and Sandy got to the bridge look out to see from a short distance. We took some photos and went down to the Jeep and headed to the other side of the valley to Box Canyon Falls
Being finished in the Ouray Valley area it was time to head southwest to some mining camps. We were basically following Sneffels Creek all the way up to over 11,000 feet again. Our first stop, although we could only see from outside the fence line, was Camp Bird,
Our next photo op was the Revenue Mine, which is owned by a Canadian company trying to bring it back to life. We saw a couple of guys surveying so I walked over to yak at them for info. One was a miner who worked in the Revenue Mine and told me a story about his dad working in there and being able to go thru the mine tunnel and eventually come out on the other side at the Idarado mine, which we’ll visit later in the day on the way to Silverton.
Right up the road was what was left of the Atlas Mill, category=ghosttowns&subcategory=sanjuans&selection=Atlas%20Mine .
There were a lot of other places to visit but because of being above 11,000 feet the snow wasn’t melted yet and was blocking the roads. Looks like a trip for the future but later in the year.
It was time to go back to Ouray and head north to Silverton and see what was along the way via the Million Dollar Highway, . What a beautiful highway to travel on and possibly dangerous at the same time. Hairpin turns and no guardrails!!!
Passing thru the Red Mountain Mining District and stopping to take photos of the Idarado mine and the valley beyond and the small camp next to it we finally made it to Silverton, yeah!! There were a lot of places we wanted to visit in the district but it would have to wait until the next day as it was raining, an almost daily thing from afternoon thunderstorms, and the girls wanted to get to the motel to relax and eventually find a place to eat dinner.
We decided to have dinner at Handlebars Food and Saloon, , right in the middle of Silverton on our first night out of three in Silverton. Great food and atmosphere and stuffed animals everywhere.
After stuffing ourselves it was time to retire as we had a big day ahead of us tomorrow.
Ok, after a good night’s sleep it was time to hit the road. The girls didn’t want to go bouncing around so it was just Gary and I. After having a good tasting breakfast at the Brown Bear Café we headed back to the Red Mountain Mining District, . Where our first stop was the old town site of Red Mountain. It used to sit in a small and narrow valley almost on top of the pass.
The National Bell Mine, , had a couple of structures still standing. At one time the railroad came up from Silverton to service the area. In fact most of the road we drove on thru the district was the old railroad grade.
We stopped at the Yankee Girl Mine to check out the large headframe still standing, e .There is a local group that looks after it and has put on a new roof to keep it standing until YOU get there.
We checked out a few more mines and then headed back to Silverton to pick up the girls and take them to lunch. We finished up just in time to watch the Durango & Silverton Train arrive . You might remember that last October we rode the train from Durango in the Presidential Car to Silverton for lunch.
We headed east out of town to the Old Hundred Mine, , for a ride 1500 feet back into the mountain for a good tour of how they mine for precious metals. Also check out l to see some fantastic photos of the boarding house and tram house located high up on the mountain above the mine.
As we left the Old Hundred we headed up the valley a short distance and then turned down the lower road to leave the valley and passed the mill below the mine at Niegoldstown, , to take photos.
On the way back to Silverton we stopped off at the Mayflower Mill, , for a tour . The mill processed ore from the mine that was located directly across the valley and way up the mountain. In the beginning the ore was brought to the mill by an aerial tram which is still up and has the buckets still hanging. You’re able to follow the whole process of how the ore was crushed, milled, etc. and melted down into bars of silver.
Our next stop was the Mining Heritage Center museum in Silverton, All we can say is WOW!! You start off with the old jail house and then go downstairs to wander thru a maze of exhibits of minerals, antiques and mining equipment before coming up in another large 2 story building with more great things to stare at and read about.
Enough for our 2nd day in Silverton. Dinner, TV and sleepy time because tomorrow is the big long trip day into the Rockies.

Ok, it’s morning!! Time for the Brown Bear breakfast and head out.

We headed mostly easterly following the Animas River and the old railroad bed to our first stop at the old site of Howardsville, , to take a few photos of the Little Nation Mill, . From here the road started going north.

There wasn’t much to see at Middleton, l , so we drove on to Eureka, , to see where the famous Sunnyside Mine & Mill, , once stood. We stopped at a camp ground where the town of Eureka once stood and we all had ice cream.

Several more miles and we finally reached our northern most part of the trip, at over 11,000 feet, Animas Forks, ,. We were amazed that all of the buildings have been worked on as compared to the photos you see in the link. All buildings had new roofs, all windows replaced and new doors to protect them from the elements until you get there. Another amazing thing was that nothing was locked up!! You’re able to go from building to building checking out the insides. Some even had indoor outhouses in the back of the house. It must have been a tough life during the winters at this altitude. This is also where the trains stopped climbing the mountains.

Now we turned west and started climbing again. Past the Frisco Mill, and past the Mountain Queen Mine, , at well over 12,000 feet, over California Pass and stopped at Hurricane Pass, , for lunch. What a view at almost 12,500 feet. There was still a lot of snow drifts up that high we drove through.

Lunch was done so now it’s downhill all the way to Silverton. Down past numerous mines, including the Gold King mine that turned the Animas River yellow last summer if you remember from the news, and the local ski area.

We took a rest before heading over to the Pickle Barrel, , for a nice dinner to celebrate Gary and Renee’s anniversary. We tried out their 24 hour slow roasted prime rib. It was delicious. The owner has some kind of fancy roaster/cooker. He wouldn’t tell us the name of it. Every evening he puts in a rib roast and turns it on. He says it cooks it for one hour at 250 degrees before the heat goes off and then rotates all night until the next evening. It’s a super sealed unit to hold in the heat.

Time for TV again and some sleep before leaving the next morning after 3 nights in Silverton.

We had a long drive ahead so we got up early and had breakfast at the Brown Bear again and headed east to Creede, , where, by the time we got there, it was time for lunch.

Then off to the local museum, h . It was located in the old Rio Grande railroad depot. A wonderful little museum to visit.

Then we headed north into the canyon to see the Commodore Mine area (see photos in above link on Creede) and take the loop up to the Midwest mine and to the east and then back into Creede. Still couldn’t get into any mines on our own. Big bummer.

After our exploration above Creede we headed east again to what was our original destination and reason for planning this trip—Canon City and riding the train into the Royal Gorge!! In case you lost count of the days it’s now Saturday night.

Toot Toot. Sunday morning and time to ride the train. We headed over to the station of tiny bit early to get our tickets. Good thing it was a tiny bit early because it wasn’t long before the place was packed with other riders.

Sandy and Renee boarded the dinning/observation car and Gary and I headed to the front of the train to the engine. Why? Because we were riding in the CAB!!! Yee haw!!

We pulled out of the station and headed northwest and into the Royal Gorge following the Arkansas River for about an hour thru the gorge and just past highway 50 to Parkdale. Originally the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad went all the way to Leadville following the river. It was a lot of fun talking to our female engineer along the way. She was also pointing out things of interest. We saw raft after raft full of fun seekers floating down the river past us.

After the train came to a halt we were escorted back to the girls where it was time for a real great tasting lunch, with their own handmade potato chips, while we headed back to Canon City.

Upon departing the train we hopped into the Jeep and headed north for an hour to our next destination of 2 days and nights—Cripple Creek,

We had some time to walk around just a little in the rain before Gary and Renee retired for the night and Sandy and I went to gamble. Sorry, still no jackpots.

Monday was a full day of things to do starting out with driving up the hill about 20 minutes to Victor, , to go on a tour of the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine, . It was a couple of open pits they were mining. The tour lasted about 3 short hours it seemed. They took us all around the mine to see into the pits and to the crushing plants and the leach pads and such and etc.

After our open pit mine tour we left Victor and headed around the corner to Goldfield, . today it’s now a shell of its former self and home to some of the miners who work at the Victor Gold Mine. It was worth a drive thru to take a couple of photos.

Now we headed north around the big pit and then west back to Cripple Creek to the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, l , where we went deep underground. Real deep. 1000 feet deep!! Sandy and I went on this tour back in 2009 so Sandy sat this one out but I love to go underground so I went with Gary and Renee into the 3 foot by 3 foot double stacked man cage with 6 others!! We really had to suck it in for all to fit into the cage. It took 2 minutes to make the journey down the shaft to the 1000 foot level. They demonstrated all the ways they mined gold back in the old days. I’ve been into a lot of underground mine tours and I think this is by far the best mine tour you can get for the money.

Like I mentioned before it was going to be a busy day so after our mine tour we drove back into Cripple Creek to the, , to check out the local history before taking a ride on the Cripple Creek and Victor Railroad . Back in 2009 when Sandy and I rode the train they took you up the hill around the corner to the site of Anaconda . About half way down you’ll see in the photos (on the website) the open pit mine tailings in the background of Anaconda. Today that whole site is covered by the expansion of one of their gigantic leach pads. Some of the buildings where moved to other sites to preserve history.

It's now Tuesday morning and time to go from the depths of the earth to the top. It’s Pike’s Peak, , or bust for us. I couldn’t wait to get to the top to have one of those famous donuts, , we had the last time we were here in 2009. Upon reaching one of the highest parking lots in the U.S. I headed inside only to find out that the donut machine had broken!! @#$#$@%!!! A short time later Gary comes outside with a bag of warm donuts. Yeah, they got it fixed. It was almost chilly up there at over 14,000 feet.

We now headed down the mountain east to Manitou Springs to see the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, , and museum. These dwellings were moved over 100 years ago from somewhere in the Mesa Verde area brick by brick and reconstructed here. There are much easier to view than the ones in Mesa Verde which usually require hiking down a mountain and back up again. Here you just go up a few steps and enter and explore from one end to the other the way people lived hundreds of years ago.

After driving thru the Garden of the Gods , which are beautiful rock formations it was time to look for a place to stay the night.

First stop Wednesday morning was the Ghost Town Museum, / , in Colorado City. The ghost town is inside a large stone building that was once the work shop for the Colorado Midland Railroad which went to Cripple Creek. Across the parking lot from the museum is the old round house which is now a shopping mall and between the two building buried under the parking lot is the round table. Inside was a wonderful display of buildings that might be in any old mining town and were filled with antiques.

We now turned north to Colorado Springs where we stopped to see the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, . Inside they give you a short tour around the building and actually show you how the old machinery worked. The most impressive was the very large, let’s call it a power producing plant, with a 16 ton flywheel. They started it up at 10 rpm for a short time. The whole thing must have been 30 feet or so long 15 feet wide and the flywheel had to be about 16 feet in diameter. It was brought back from the east and totally restored to working condition. You can then walk around the outside grounds to see different pieces of equipment and even walk thru a stamp mill that they sometimes operate.

We continued north to Golden where we went to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, , to check out the mineral specimens from Colorado Mining Districts and mines from all over the world. They are amazing as you’ll see in the photos. Mother Nature sure knows how to make minerals!!

Our next stop was the Colorado Railroad Museum . They have over 100 pieces of rolling stock from steam engines to cabooses. I always liked going into the basement to see the very large HO scale railroad they got set up. From desert to mountains and towns it only costs a quarter to watch the trains go around. They have a round house they built several years ago and now they work on restoring the engines and such 1 by 1.

It was almost closing time and it was getting late so now we headed west back into the Rockies to stay the night in Georgetown,

Our first trip in the morning was up to Silver Plume, , so we could catch a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, The train only goes back down to Georgetown but the highlight will be crossing the high trestle you’ll see on their website. It was raining half the trip but that added to the atmosphere of the Rockies.

We then headed over to Central City, l , for lunch.

Then back up the road a piece and heading north a couple of miles we went through Nevadaville, , which was more authentic of an old mining town from the past.

We continued making a drive around the mountain and wound up back at Central City and the twin city of Black Hawk, Today Central City and Black Hawk are gambling meccas for tourist and the population of Denver and the surrounding areas.

We then turned the Jeep north and headed to Estes Park for a hot dog and to spend the night before going into Rocky Mountain National Park. Other than the Trail Ridge Road, we would take the next morning, this was the farthest north we would get on our trip.

After waking up in the morning we headed to McDonald’s for breakfast and into the Rockies via Trail Ridge Road, Up and up we climbed to over 12,000 feet past miles of scenic beauty into the clouds. We passed a large herd of Elk grazing high up on the mountain in the Tundra. On the way down the other side we passed some Meese (more than one moose) grazing.

I got my ice cream cone fix at Granby before heading all the way down the mountains to I-70 and then back up the other side thru Climax, , which at one time supplied ¾ of the worlds molybdenum and now has a big hole in the ground with ongoing reclamation. The mineral is used in the making of radio tubes, auto and plane parts, and in chemical compounds and dyes. The mine sits at 11,300 ft.

We finally arrived at our destination of Leadville, h , the highest incorporated city in America.

We parked and walked up and down main street checking out some of the gift shops and such including the Silver Dollar Saloon, Before leaving for our trip someone told us about a great steak house we needed to try out in Leadville but they couldn’t remember the name other than it was on the main street. We found a place called Quincy’s, , where we would have another wonderful, tender and juicy prime rib later for dinner. We decided that the top three places to get prime rib, in no particular order, are Bob Taylors Ranch house in Las Vegas, Nv., Quincy’s in Leadville and the Pickle Barrel in Silverton, Co. Colorado is a long way to go for a prime rib dinner for those of you in Las Vegas so I would recommend you try out Bob Taylors, .

Before having dinner we went down the street a mile into the mining country to the famous Matchless Mine, once owned by Horace Tabor, who went from rags to riches and back to rags again during which he hooked up with younger woman called “Baby Doe” and left his first wife to marry. Check out the fascinating story on their website.

Now it’s time to go back into town and visit our last museum of the whole trip—the National Mining Hall of Fame, . It was full of mining displays, mineral specimens and such and the story of the Climax Molybdenum Mine from the early beginnings to the closing. On the top floor were rows and rows of plaques on the walls of hundreds of men and women who made significant contributions in different ways to the mining industry.

Saturday morning it was time to head to our last destination which is on the other side of the Continental Divide.

We headed south for a short distance before heading west back up into the high country of the Rockies to Independence Pass, , at just over 12,000. We stopped for a short time at the pass for a pottie break and smoke break for Sandy but again she declined. It wasn’t a long a drive as Trail Ridge but it was just as beautiful with similar scenery.

A short distance from the pass on the way down was the ghost town of Independence, . There are quite a few buildings still standing from the 1880’s boom time.

We continued down the mountains thru Aspen and onto Carbondale where we stopped at Subway to get sandwiches we would eat at our last ghost town of the entire trip.

We continued south to Redstone, , where they had coke ovens still standing. I noticed that most of the bee hive coke ovens on the highway side had been restore -Coke-Ovens , since Sandy and I were here back in 2009. The sign said that volunteer masons using the bricks lying around the site were used to put them back into shape again.

Back in the Jeep and down the road we went to Marble, named for the local marble quarry up in the mountains above the town. Seems like almost everyone’s front yard has marble blocks or statues in them. The marble was so good here that it was even used on the Lincoln Memorial and for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We continued driving thru town to the start of the dirt road which after a couple of miles turned into a 4 wheel drive road. It was slow going for another 4 ½ miles following the Crystal River to our final ghost town destination of our two week Colorado trip thru the COMB (Colorado Mineral Belt) of Colorado. We made it to Crystal , ghosttowns.com/states/co/crystal.html , and the famous Dead Horse Mill. You’ll have to click on the link to see the photos of this building because I couldn’t do it justice by trying to describe it words. The locals maintain the building. It looked like there was a new shingle roof put on since we were here in 2009. Some people live here throughout the summer months and have to get out of the canyon before the snow starts to fly in the fall or get stuck here. There is no electricity of course.

After our photo op we drove around the corner to the town site to take more photos and eat our sandwiches while sitting in the Jeep because it was raining again. It rained often on our trip, mostly afternoon thunderstorms, but really didn’t cause any problems as the cloud cover kept the heat down and added to the beauty of the Rockies and there was no serious rain downpours.

We left and headed east back the way we came thru Marble, and eventually north thru Redstone and Carbondale and to Eagle to spend the night before heading back to Las Vegas.

We spent another night on the way back in Cedar City and got back to Vegas the next morning July 4th after driving over 2700 miles.

We hope you enjoyed reading this and checking out the links to all the wonderful places we visited and that we gave you some inspiration to visit Colorado and follow in some of our footsteps.

Until next time have a good summer.

Happy Trails and Sunsets

Herb and/or Sandy
Last Edit: 2 years 3 months ago by Qnet. Reason: added intro

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