It is a short trip from Pagosa Springs to South Fork going over Wolf Creek Pass. South Fork is a small community with no traffic lights, McDonald's or Taco Bell. It does have a gas station, a liquor store and a very nice general store. When I write 'general' I mean it! It has all the basic needs of hikers, bikers, fishermen, campers, RVers, and cooks.
Walking around Creede, peeking into windows (most stores were closed when we arrived), and watching people is fun but not nearly enough adventure for us. We decided to try the Bachelor's Loop, a self-guided 17 mile dirt road that would stop at 8 different historical mining sites. We started up the road which ran parallel to Willow Creek. It seems like all creeks in this area of Colorado are moving with unusual force and lots of water from spring snow melting. All was going well until Ms Prissy Prius started sliding backwards and not holding any traction to the road!! It occurred to me that my car and its occupants could slide all the way backwards and down into the creek! Tom hopped out to guide me driving backwards, very, very slowly . . . . excruciatingly slowly to a lower part of the road. Just as we got to a wider part of the road a huge black powerful pickup zipped right past us and up the hill. Relieved, we found our way back into town. It was getting towards evening by then so we returned to South Fork.
The next morning we decided to drive to Lake City. Highway 149 goes right through Creede, up over Spring Creek Pass and then over Slumgullion Pass. My daughter informed me that the Slumgullion Pass has nothing to do with Slumgullion Stew. We agreed this road is not for Mellie. Until you get close to Slumgullion Pass the road is not too bad and we spotted lots of RV parks along the way. This country is just gorgeous, breathtaking, expansive and very tough to capture the grandeur. One surprise was North Clear Creek Falls. Wow!
We drove through Lake City and decided it would be on a short list of places to visit from our Gunnison camp. We dined at the Altitude Restaurant (very, very nice) and returned quickly to South Fork. The next day we took off about midday for Natural Arch. That was another adventure. We started off missing an obvious turn and getting lost before doubling back. Then we opted for longer route thinking the county road might be smoother. Wrong! We stopped along the way because no matter which way we went the scenery was just spectacular at every turn. I rode the high side of deep ruts in the road, constantly checked to make sure we still had cell phone contact and kept wondering where the signs were for this well known landmark. We were rewarded when we got to the site.
That is all of South Fork. Tonight we are in Del Norte. Even smaller than South Fork but we had an awesome pizza and salad at the Three Barrel Brewery. If you drive through here you should definitely stop and eat there. Thanks for joining us.