Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lake City and Slumgullion Pass

We were told by several people, locals and travelers, that this was the place to go for cheeseburgers.  So of course since it was on our way to Lake City, Joyce and I had to stop.  Yes, they were good and I would recommend the place.  It is about 20 miles past Creede towards Lake City.

Looking towards Stony Pass.  In the foreground was the site of San Juan City, which now there aren't even traces.  Between 1871 and 1882 Stony Pass was the best route to Silverton.  It is now a 4-wheel drive route which I went over some 20 years ago.  Didn't make it this time, I don't have a 4-wheel drive and I don't think my HHR would make it.

More evidence of the trees turning.  I have never seen Aspen turn red, so when I was asking why, I was told the trees turning red were so dry from the drought they were dying and the red leaves were dying leave, not changing colors.  Too bad.  I love Aspens.

Some 850 years ago tons of earthen material broke off and slid some 4 miles down the mountain to form the Slumgullion Earthflow.  It blocked the Gunnison River and created San Cristobal Lake, the 2nd largest natural lake in Colorado.  They say the earth movement is still going on and this movement slides downhill about 20 feet per year.

This is Red Mountain, aptly named because of its reddish color.

Overlooking Lake San Cristobal.  In 1874 gold was discovered in the river leading to the lake and the boom began.

A tribute to the victims of one of the most notorious scandals in Colorado.  Alfred Packer was a guide, leading five men from Salt Lake City to this area.  They became lost in a storm and Packer showed up later in the spring alone.  He claims the other men died naturally and then they ate the dead to survive, but when the remains of the others were found, it was discovered they had their heads bashed in.  Packer was captured and found guilty of murder and cannabalism.  He maintained his innocence until the day he died.

That is a cave in the side of the cliff.  I don't know if I would want a house built above that.  What if it caved in?

Lake City has made good use of the Packer story.  Here is the Packer Saloon and Cannibal Grill.

No, there's no ice and snow up here.  This is a picture I saw in the coffee shop.  You wouldn't fine me climbing that wall of ice.  That is a frozen waterfall outside of town.

And I didn't really see this either, just wished I had.  

After the big fire of 1879, most buildings were rebuilt using brick, such as this, the Blount Building, built in 1880.

Main Street, Lake City, is all of two blocks long, this is the other block.

Not really old, built in 1949, we wondered about the safety during the winter.  It looks like the snow could just avalanche down on top of the hotel.  I don't think I want to stay there except in the summer.

This church is old, established in 1891, and it reminds me of something you would see in Europe.  Very much of the gingerbread design.

Just kidding, I really didn't go over Engineer Pass.  The road is open for regular vehicles for the first nine miles or so.

About three miles up towards Engineer Pass is the Galena Mining area.  Long since deserted, there are lots of old buildings, mining equipment and this broken, earthen dam.

There was a strike by the miners in 1899 and the governor had the troops come out to keep the peace.  When it was all over, and an agreement had been reached, the Italian immigrant miners were told be gone in a week.  The ad which was placed for replacement miners politely stated "We can use about 75 men, Italians need not apply".

There are supposed to be both Elk and Moose in the area, but the only wildlife we saw were these deer, which were in town at Lake City.

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