Thursday, May 31, 2012

Engineer Mountain

As seen from Cascade Villiage, Engineer rises to a lofty height of 12968 ft / 3953 m.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

There was once a glacier here

The Animas Glacier was once the largest in all of the San Juan Mountains, and possibly was the largest glacier this far south. You can see evidence of the glacier in all parts of the Animas Valley north of 32nd street in Durango. Here we see the Hermosa Cliffs and Engineer Mountain in the distance.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Huck Finn Pond

Huck Finn pond is spring-fed and was the original water source for Durango in its early years. Nowadays, it provides a nice place to sit and relax and watch the bike path traffic go by. The train also rumbles down past only 15 feet away and the Animas River is a stones throw. There are fish in this pond too

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chocolate River

When the river runs high, it ought to look like this. A rich, chocolate, silty red-brown mix flowing fluidly down the channel. This is a picture from last year. I will post a current (no pun intended) picture of the river tomorrow

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Greenmount Cemetery

I took a walk through the cemetery a couple of days ago. It was the first time I have visited the graveyard and I was struck by the beauty of the well-kept grounds. It was fun to go around and look at the beautifully decorated headstones. There are some pretty old dates on some. The oldest that I noticed was around 1885.

I had a nice time visiting the graveyard, except for one little detail. As I was coming into the cemetery, I looked but did not see any signs indicating what time the gates would close. I was there just before the sun set, and as darkness fell I was starting to leave. When I got to the gate, It was locked. I couldn't believe it. I got back in my vehicle and drove up to the office, but no one was there. I drove back down to the gate and noticed there was a sign posted that said to call the police dept. if the gates were locked. Has this happened to someone before? I called and a deputy came after fifteen minutes. He opened the gate and let me out and that ended my cemetery experience.

Friday, May 25, 2012

El Rancho Tavern

Historic and original, this is the place to slake your thirst. Come on Friday for their free hot wings

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nature Trail

Walkin' thru Gamble's Oak and Box Elder trees on my way down to town from Fort Lewis College.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Around Sunset

Looking West toward the Sierra La Platas at dusk on a recent night.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


An isolated storm cell producing a virga ( a sheet of rain that evaporates before hitting the ground) hovers over Perins Peaks

Thursday, May 17, 2012

North Valley

The view to the north of town. The Animas River valley is glacially carved. It would be a U shaped valley, but over the thousands of years the river has filled the bottom with tons of sandy sediment. My guess is that there is over 2,000 feet of sediment fill in the valley. It makes for some great farming

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lions Den

A popular spot to come and look down on the valley, The Lion's Den is another municipal property. It is an interesting structure, made from large boulders and timbers, and sits on the edge of the mesa overlooking town.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It rolls on at night too

Growing up in Santa Fe, there was never this volume of water flowing in our "river." My friends and I knew it as the Santa Fe Trickle. Durango is an entirely different place. The Animas River is pretty big by my standards, and it has water flowing all year round. The current flow level for the river through Durango is at 1,420 Cubic feet per second.  Our mountains did not receive very much snow this year, and I don't expect the river to run much higher as summer progresses.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

Looking back the other way

The view southwest toward town.Some of the features of the landscape you can see are Lake Nighthorse in the back, Raiders Ridge dropping away, Smelter Mountain on the other side of the gap, and Fort Lewis College and Hillcrest Golf Club in the middle ground on the right. The neighborhood of Skyridge lies directly below at the foot of the slope.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Million Dollar Highway

Here's a good picture of The Million Dollar Highway south of the town of Ouray. You can see how the road is just shoved in against the cliffs and has no guard rail. As you can imagine, this road is terrifying to drive in the winter. If you are wondering why there is no guard rail, it's because the Highway department finds it easier to plow the snow off the edge as there is little room elsewhere for it to go.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


This is downtown Silverton, Colorado. The history of Silverton is tangled with Durango's. Most of the ore mined in the mountains around Silverton were taken to Durango by rail to be processed by the smelters that came to define Durango for a long while. Silverton is located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains and can be tough to get to. The Million Dollar Highway is the only paved road in and it summits two high mounatin passes on the route from Durango to the south ( Coal Bank Pass at 10,640' and Molas Pass at 10,910') and one from Ouray to the north ( Red Mountain Pass at 11,018'.) During winter, avalanches are frequent along the route and the town is sometime shut-off from the outside world as an effect.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Needle Mountains

As viewed from Highway 550, The two peaks in view are Pigeon on the left and Turret on the right. Behind them is Mt. Eolus, the highest of all the Needle Mountains at 14,084 ft (4,293 m).