Parque Natural Mexiquillo


Over Independence Pass to Aspen

There are not one, not two, but several very large signs telling you not to drive a rig over 35 feet on this road. That being said, we were very shaken when we met a semi truck coming around a corner a foot or two into our lane.

It is an absolutely beautiful drive

 This section is called the narrows. Even today it is not a full two lanes wide. I am very thankful we did not meet that semi truck here. 

The Narrows of yesteryear.
One of the most beautiful and peaceful places in Aspen is the John Denver Sanctuary. Rock paths wander through colorful flowers and bubbling streams. John's songs and other inspirational message are carved into the granite boulders

In downtown Aspen shops and restaurants border tree shaded pedestrian only streets. It is very lovely and screams MONEY

Current location  38.694342  -106.142510


Leadville's Painted Ladies

Summer goal, stay in the cool cool Rockies. This means remaining in the green. The green area is an island of comfort in a sea of torrid HEAT. Leadville at 10,200 feet is in the mid seventies.

Many of the victorian homes have wonderful, colorful, pricy paint jobs. There is even a store in town that sells the "Leadville Colors". 

Current location  39.247081  -106.356973


Leadville, CO

I moved south to a great boondocking spot just four miles out of Leadville.

The Mining Museum has informative and interesting exhibits about mining around the world. History, machinery, dioramas, and a walk through model mine. But my favorites are the exquisite mineral specimens. 

Rhodochrosite (red) is Colorado's State mineral.

Selenite from Manitoba Cananda

Quartz from Ontario Canada

Scolocite (white) and Apophyllite (green) from India

Quartz on Specularite from China

A huge magnificent Quartzite specimen

And everyone loves gold

1852 $5 US gold coin

"Littlle Jonny" A 24 oz crystalline gold specimen was
recovered from a Little Jonny Mine muck car in 1892

Placer gold discovered in Fairplay, CO

Lunch was next. I had some really tasty pizza at High Mountain Pies. 

It's called the Square Pizza, but comes round and very good


Nature Walk

We ascended the westside of Rocky Mountain National Park to the Alpine Visitors Center at a heart pounding, lung sucking 11,796 feet.

Elk we saw on the way up

The alpine growing season is six weeks 

Above the timber line you find the Alpine Tundra. Timber line is determined by temperature. When the average summer temperature drops below 55 degrees the pine trees cannot grow. Today the temperature was 53 degrees and wind chill dropped it to 45 degrees. 

Bob giving us an introduction to the fragile Alpine Tundra

Field Mouse-ear Chickweed

Yellow Paint Brush

Bob telling us about the sunflower.

Plants up here must adapt to the limited growing season.  The Sunflower stores energy during the brief growing season for 10 or 12 years, then blooms and sets seeds. 

Current location 40.225180, -105.909980