Canada 6, 21st June 2006

First, I hope you liked the cat and mouse cartoon I just sent you, because, mostly, you were not supposed to receive it. It was intended to go to a rather smaller number of recipients but I made a mistake and selected the wrong group to send to. Sorry!

Anyway in Lake City I decided that I liked this parking spot, alongside the bubbling little river, so I thought I would explore some of the Alpine loop, a backcountry byway, and return for another night. The major passes are only accessible to 4WD vehicles (I got 4 WD but they are all on the back and I don't think that's what they mean) but I can go part way on each section of the loop.

The south section started quite pretty, following the road on the other side of this lake.

It got prettier.

And prettier.

And prettier.

Then I returned and followed the road up past my campsite and my museum visit. All the way this little river was rushing alongside the road. For almost 15 miles the road climbed and alongside the river rushed down. The whole way the stream has whitecaps showing.

Tom Donnelly likes pictures of waterfalls so here's one. It's a bit little, even for Tom, (if you haven't found the waterfall, it's up on the right) but the interesting bit is that big white slab in front. It's snow.

They tell me temperatures reach -20F in the winter. In the visitors centre they show pictures of machines cutting through 50 ft deep drifts of snow. I am content to be here in the summer.

It was when I got onto cooking dinner I remembered why I didn't like these gravel roads, beside the bumping and rattling of things in cupboards that is. It's because the fine dust gets everywhere. It's an old van, the dust gets in through gaps and cracks everywhere, In the cupboards my black pans had turned to grey. Everything I touched had this fine dust on it. I'm far off being the world's most finicky person, but I spent an hour dusting in cupboards, outside cupboards, on shelves, on the dashboard, everywhere. It will take days to get rid of the last vestiges of this dust.

Next day I headed north,

bought a ticket for a boat trip in the morning, and pulled up for the night adjacent to the Gunnison River on to National Forest.

I'm very pleased with my MP3 player. I've got about almost 100 CD's worth of music on only 5 CD's. I converted my files at a slightly lower quality than normal, at 96 kcbs or whatever it is, rather than the more normal 128 since I reckoned most of my music was recorded over 50 years ago and wouldn't be that high a quality to start. Each CD has around 300 tracks on it, something like 20 hours of music each. I split the tracks on each CD more or less equally through my 4 disks, then I play the disks with a random selection, so the musicians are changing all the time. I like Dixieland Jazz, Louis Armstrong Hot 5's and 7's, Jelly Roll Morton, etc, etc. My 5th Disk is UK traditional jazz I made some years ago.

Still my favourite tune, Ken Colyer's Goin' Home, is still on my website available for download. Go to my web site, address below, then to the opening page of my Mexican trip. Scroll down and you will see the link. (I'm hoping it's out of copyright.) I've asked for this tune to be played at my funeral so if you listen to it you'll get a preview. No need to come when I finally conk out, you'll know what you're going to hear!

It was a pleasant walk in the morning along base of the canyon, along the route of the old railway line, to the boat dock.

Here's the boat trip.

More canyon.

And, for Tom, a waterfall. It used to be more than 200 ft high but now the canyon is a reservoir, just here the water is 100 ft deep, so the waterfall is now only 100 ft.

Part of the canyon from above

I got a glimpse of the tour boat making it's second trip of the day

And continued with more beautiful scenery to Delta Colorado, on the way pausing only collect emails. Last time I picked up emails was leaving Lake City yesterday morning, and as result of that delay I had 99 emails, including around 20 spam.

I needed to restock provisions since I was almost out of food, so pulled into Walmart for the night. Unusually it was not directly on the main road so I expect a reasonably quiet night. It'll also be warmer, as I am much lower down, but just in case I'll not pack my sleeping bag away permanently.

Continue to Canada 7

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