First things first.
I gather from the outpouring of opinions and advice in the comments under the previous post that the cliffhanger “Wolf Creek Pass — Yes or no?” stirred up some interest.
You sure got that right, RVSue.
I’ll get to the cliffhanger in a minute.
First we have some catching up to do on this here blog.
Bridget, Reggie, and I make our home at West Fork Campground, off Route 160, north of Pagosa Springs, Colorado from Monday, June 27 until the morning of Thursday, June 30.
The photos in this post were taken during our stay at West Fork.
West Fork is a San Juan National Forest Campground.
I choose it as our camp for the week leading up to the 4th of July because it has camp hosts. We could set up a boondock camp alongside the West Fork of the San Juan River as the tenters (in the first photo) and others did.
However, experience from past holiday weekends teaches me that a campground with hosts provides insurance for a relatively quiet holiday. Everyone has to behave.
Typical West Fork campsite. . . . The river is nearby, heard but not seen from the campground.
Camping fees at West Fork are $18 regular/$9 with senior discount.
As usual I hesitate about making a long-term commitment and pay $27 for three nights only. This turns out to be a good decision.
I talk with fellow campers who give me their perspective on driving Wolf Creek Pass and the crew makes a few canine acquaintances.
“Wolf Creek Pass — Yes or no?”
While writing the previous post, the crew and I are sitting in the Perfect Tow Vehicle parked in Pagosa Springs in order to pick up internet signal on my Verizon jetpack. For a few days I’ve been chewing on whether or not to attempt the pass.
One minute I’m ready to conquer that mountain — “Yeah, we can do this!” — and the next minute I’m shrinking from the prospect of altitude sickness for me and Bridget. Those of you who have experienced it know that it is Not Fun.
Unable to make up my mind, I do what I learned to do when befuddled.
Blog about it!
Hmm . . . I wonder what the blogorinos think I should do . . . .
I write the previous post and hit the “publish” button.
“C’mon, crew. Let’s go exploring!”
I fire up the PTV and we head out of Pagosa Springs.
It’s a beautiful day for a drive. Periodically I pull over and check the responses to the blog post.
Echo Canyon State Wildlife Area, Route 84, south of Pagosa Springs
As expected, many of you share what you would do and why.
I read every comment, thoughtfully considering the reasoning in support of each one.
Opinions range from “Why risk making Bridget and yourself sick?” to “Go for it! I went through the pass and it was easy!”
By the time the crew and I return to camp at West Fork, I’ve made my decision.
No, we won’t! Yes, we will!
“Huh?” you ask. “What kind of decision is that, RVSue?”
Let me explain.
While toodling around in the PTV, the pros and cons of driving the pass roll around in my head. As serendipity would have it, the crew and I discover a boondock.
Not just any boondock. This place is my idea of paradise! Gorgeous! Peaceful! It has 4G with 2-3 bars internet signal!
And it’s in the opposite direction from Wolf Creek Pass.
Longtime readers of my blog know that I like to meet the challenges of the road with confidence while at the same time exercising common sense and reasonable caution. I don’t want to wuss out and run away from high altitude. Neither do I want to make us sick.
I know what we’ll do!
We will go south of Pagosa Springs on Route 84 (Benchmark map at left) and camp at the gorgeous boondock we found.
More about that in the next post!
When we leave the boondock, we will continue on Route 84 south to New Mexico and follow 84 as it curves eastward toward Chama (map below).
Then we will travel northeast on Route 17 which will take us through Chama and up and over Cumbres Pass!
Cumbres Pass is 10,006 feet, whereas Wolf Creek Pass is 10,810 feet.
That’s a difference of 804 feet. It may not seem like much to you folks who’ve never “hit the wall” like Bridget and I did a few years ago on Badger Mountain in Utah at around 9,500 feet.
I’ve heard that Cumbres Pass doesn’t have a long, unrelenting, upward grade like Wolf Creek Pass. That’s good news for the PTV who is perfect and also eleven years old.
By taking this route, the crew and I can work our way around, and, depending upon how we do, possibly sail through other passes in Colorado. I’m not giving up on Wolf Creek Pass yet!
After all the ‘splainin,’ it’s time for photos!
Here are a few shots of canine campers met at West Fork Campground.
Meet Webster. He cuts a fine figure for a seven-year-old. Reggie is impressed!
The owners of Copper don’t know his exact age. He’s a handsome senior citizen.
Bridget conveys the “rules of engagement” and instantly Reggie makes a pal.
So, there you have it . . . . No more hanging on that cliff.
Well, there is the gorgeous boondock I’ve yet to show you. That’s the topic for the next post!
NOTE: My heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped me make the right decision for us. I also appreciate the many wishes for a peaceful holiday. I’m writing this post Saturday afternoon and so far our camp has been peaceful. I hope your weekend is all that you want it to be! — Sue
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