Friday, August 31, 2012

Waterfalls, Campgrounds, 4-wheel and more

On the day we headed out for a 4-wheel adventure we passed this lake, where we stopped and had lunch.

The lake had several of these large platforms out in the middle.  Finally we found out they are called Solar Bees, a solar powered water circulator.  Each one can circulate 14 million gallons per day and it helps keep the algae bloom in control and helps provide a healthy environment for the fish, frogs and crayfish.

Our 4-wheel ended up dead ending on some private property at a lake, so we had to turn around and come back.  By this time it was sleeting ice pellets and hail, so much the ground looked like it had snowed.

When I first got to the area I stayed at Palisade NFCG, where the camphost new many of my WIN friends.

The campsite was right on the Rio Grande River.

After having some refrigerator and generator problems, and taking it to South Fork for some work, I returned and parked up at Rio Grande NFCG, a small, free campground just about 2.5 miles from where the WIN gathering was being held.  I liked my spot so much I didn't move, but stayed where I was and drove over for hugs and exercise every morning.

Again I was located right on the Rio Grande River.  Such a beautiful spot.  The CG guide said the spur was 25 feet (in otherwords most larger rigs would have problems).  They were right.  I couldn't have turned around towing my car and my spot was so narrow I couldn't put my living room slide out all the way.  

I had information about three hot/warm springs in the Creede area, so one day I went venturing out to find them.  The first was Wagon Wheel Gap Hot Springs.  It is now a private venture, a guest ranch, and not open to the public.  These mining ruins are on the property on the river.  With the railroad and the Hot Springs Hotel, passengers, tourists and health seekers ventured to this area to partake of the healing waters.
The other two warm springs were both on private property and undeveloped.

Looking through Wagon Wheel Gap.  In 1863 a group of prospectors abandoned a wagon as they were going through this gap.  Later, in the 1870s, a wagon wheel was found and believed to be from the previous Baker party.  Hence the name Wagon Wheel Gap.

One of the places to visit in the area is North Clear Creek Falls.  You can only view it from the top as there are no paths down to the bottom.

You can however walk out to the top of the falls and look down.

Standing on top of the falls looking back across to the viewing area.

Walking downstream you can see another large water diversion tunnel.  I wonder where this water is being piped?  The visitor center says the water from the Santa Maria Reservoir flows down Clear Creek and is diverted to the Rio Grande River for farm irrigation.

This little guy was clearly checking things out before heading out of his hole.

There are actually three different falls in the area.  This is the South Clear Creek Falls, where the trailhead is located in Silver Thread campground.

I think we were the only ones who found this falls.  Because I had incomplete information we missed the other falls and decided not to return on this day.  A few days later I did return and will post those pictures of Fisherman's Falls later.

The WINs gathering was located in a large meadow about 1/2 mile off the highway.  It was surrounded on three sides by hills and mountains.

Patty and Peter went fishing one afternoon and brought back this mess of fish.  Now to get Max to fry us up a fish fry....yum......

1 comment:

TexCyn said...

Oh my gosh, how gorgeous it is!! Simply heaven. Wow.