Friday, May 19, 2017
A few iPhotos in Crestone's scenery
Our Wednesday Trip to Crestone involved 5 carloads of our intellectuals Most hiked, then ate at the Cafe/Grocery Store, then visited 3 locations of oriental living and (some) religion. We had different responses among our group this "community" of Crestone and the Baca Reserve. A couple of them were that the town didn't seem as weird as they had expected. At the Ashrams, etc., we noticed the distinct differences and interesting similarities of the three places we visited. Each one had wonderful views of the San Luis Valley--all the way to South Fork. This produced questions such as "why haven't we been here earlier?"
and "Next time, I'll wear slip-on shoes when I go to the meeting halls" and "how many of these facilities are there?" A couple of the hard core hikers also mentioned their urge to hike 5-10 miles into the Sangre de Cristo mountains and perhaps come out on the Westcliffe side. This mountain range is said to be the longest in the lower 48 states (from near Salida south to Santa Fe, NM), some of the highest peaks, and the narrowest at 10-12 miles through at ground level. The Utes and other tribes considered these mountains as sacred, along with Jicarilla Apaches, Navajos, and many other tribes. When they came here, they respected the "special place" and sought peace. It seems that people from many parts of the world have found this peaceful place, some moving in for the calm and relative simplicity, others for restoring balance in lives, and others for short visits to sense the special serenity of this place.
[There is a lot of discussion of this place on the intermet. It is worth dialing up "Crestone, Colorado" and reading for several days. The mayor's comments are inspiring but realistic. She says not everyone comes here to stay, but all are affected.
I'm one of the latter and glad that I can return to these mountains where I spent several short periods on the East side of those high peaks. Judy and I spent one of our 4 honeymoon weekends on the other side of the Sangres (same peaks but east-facing) at a private ranch, where she rolled off one of the gentle horses. Fortunately, she promptly got back on and enjoyed the ride (she may have another version). Then, last summer we enjoyed them again as we drove to another ranch for a wonderful lunch and a chance to commune with some other horses and good cooks.]
North Crestone Trail (R.Grande National Forest)--not a log
fit for crossing.
Beautiful fast, pounding stream of spring snow melt
Lovely trail for hiking, both up and down, about 1.5 miles
from the interesting town of Crestone
Rip-roaring creek beside us.
Peak from the trail--one of the many from 11,000 to 14,000 plus
We visited three attractive oriental ashrams (or other names)
Penny admires the carpet
WAter fall at site #3, where we got interesting assistance
Our Student Japanese Student guide
Marilyn revives her Japanese with a student worker.
If you want to see "the other side", there are two lovely routes to take.
1) Go to and North through the city of Walsenberg to the motels and George's Restaurant, North of town and swing left onto State highway 69. Take it NW into the Wet Mountain Valley (it is paved), which aims where the pioneers traveled (along the Huerfano River). Go into the valley where the peaks rise up and your scenery quotient rises. Aim for Westcliffe. There, turn left on State Rd 96, drive on lovely winding roads to Pueblo.
OR: 2) Go a little farther north on I-25 for 22 miles; turn left onto paved 165, and wind up the Wet Mountains, passing Rye, a YMCA camp where most kids in Pueblo go, and Lake Isabel and beyond (if you don't want to stay in your tent). Don't miss Cinderella's Castle up in the mountains on 165. There you're headed through lovely mountains This road runs into State Rd. 96 (where it dead-ends). Choose left or right: Left takes you to Westcliffe and right takes you via Wetmore and into Pueblo. This is one of Colorado's Scenic Byways.
These are well worth the extra hour or two with: photos galore!