Back to the Mountains

After a month in north Texas during the dog days I headed back where I know I belong —the mountains. My last trip to the east coast was less than stellar and after a week of swelter in G’Vine I was ready to amscray. Ironically, the day I left Impact Guns shipped my new pistol so it’ll have to just collect dust at the FFL until I return in October. At least I’d completed the course, qualification and application to carry license, which should be back by then too.

Leaving Texas is always hard. Because it’s so damn ugly and boring until you get to New Mexico. A full day drive across west Texas took me to Clayton and a past its prime campground. Is was good enuf for the night. On a side note, the MORryde suspension upgrade definitely improves the ride down the road, especially in my truck. Interesting…

Raton Pass Video A relatively short day drive to Alamosa, Colorado was lengthened by a truck moving van fire on Raton Pass. Full stop for 45 minutes but it could’ve been worse as it occurred just before the road narrowed to one lane and no shoulder. Thankfully looked like no injuries either.

After setting up camp I made an appointment for the morning to get the truck’s oil changed and then found a couple breweries in town. Square Peg Brewerks poured me a decent First Cut farmhouse ale and excellent MFU pale ale, but I wasn’t really feeling the vibe there so I went next door to San Luis Valley Brewing Co. I tasted their Valle Caliente because I love hatch chilies. Good but needed to be colder. The Sinner and the Saint Mexican lager seemed to fit me (not the Mexican part, lol) and went well with the BBQ pork tacos I had for dinner. SLVBC made me wish I hadn’t already reserved a site in Pagosa Springs for tomorrow. It’s my latest favorite brewery!

After a late start in Alamosa I dropped Synko off in a dirt lot and took the truck in for the oil change. A quick hour later and a stop at Locavores for a locally sourced sandwich and I was on my way to Pagosa Springs. Was nice to get up into the mountains again after crossing the wide San Luis Valley. I like Pagosa Springs. Cool town.

At Pagosa Springs Brewing Co I ran into Ron & Blanch, a couple I’d met a year ago here. A cool, interesting couple who run a hunting lodge in Charma, NM. We shared our common political persuasions and disdain for how our country has overacted to Covid. Twice this year I’ve come across people I’ve met on previous trips. And in both cases neither of us is from where we run into each other. I think that’s pretty cool!

Ended the day at the campground community center where a local band was playing country western music. On a nice Colorado evening, it worked just fine! A glass of rye accented the music!

A couple hour drive took me to Silverton, one of my favorite places. It’s just such a cool setting at 9300 feet. One road in town is paved, the others are well-maintained dirt/gravel. I love the valley setting surrounded by high mountains. Silverton is a Mecca of off highway vehicle riding. Gotta do that sometime when I’ve got company.

As small as it is, Silverton has two breweries. Golden Block Brewery was closed because they’d run out of food. I recall from last year they have great pizza so I was kinds bummed. A block down the street Avalanche Brewing Company was in their new location. They used to be on Blair Street (aka Hooker Row) and I liked that location better. Not because of the hookers . I had the Sultan IPA, which was just ok. The pizza was also just ok. I was amped up for a pie from Golden Block.

The next day I drove some of the forest service roads and kicked around town, enjoying the 70s drop into the mid 60s. Feasted on an elk burger and dinner salad at Handlebars Saloon and then wrapped up the day watching the RNC on TV. Good stuff.

In the morning I was heading over the Million Dollar Highway to Ouray. I’ll pick up there in the next post.