June 4, 2022 Dolores, CO Day 4

We had a leisurely Saturday morning and made plans to go back to Scotch Creek Road in the San Juan National Forest to do some 4 wheeling. It was a pretty day with sunny skies, but still cool in the morning at 57. The pine trees around here are putting out huge amounts of pollen which we find all over everything each morning. There is a layer of yellow dust on most everything. When the wind blows, we can see all the pollen floating in the air. It can’t be good for those people with allergies, but it sure causes a lot of sneezing for us. The man across the road wipes down his motorhome each morning with a dry mop to remove all the pollen. No wonder his bus looks so shiny and clean. We packed a lunch, got ready, and left the campground before 10:30 to drive the 8 miles to Scotch Creek.

When we arrived, there were 3 vehicles parked there that had bike racks, but the bikes were gone. They must have been on the trail.

Near the bottom of the trail there was another truck parked there with an empty bike rack. We half expected to see bikers on our drive up the canyon.

We pulled into the parking area and aired down to drive this rocky trail.

In just a few minutes, we were ready to go. This sign warned us about the trail ahead.

The road was very narrow in places.

It was extremely rocky in other places.

The road followed along beside the creek, so there were no shelf roads that we could see.

It did wind it’s way through the canyon with some interesting rock formations.

About a 1/2 mile in, these 2 girls came riding up behind us, so we pulled over to let them pass.

There were a couple of old campsites set up in the woods that we passed and enough “turn around” areas, in case we needed any on the way back down. People going uphill always have the right of way. Almost 2 miles in, we came upon 2 mud holes.

The first one was quite large and the 2nd one was a little smaller. We parked so Bob could go ahead and check them out. He took a stick to measure how deep they were.

Unfortunately, there was no room to go around them either. We might have been able to make it through the water, but who knows how deep the mud was underneath. If we would have gotten stuck in the deep mud, there would be no way to get out without help. We didn’t have a winch and even if we did, there was no place to winch it to, so there were too many negatives to go on. That’s a shame! We really wanted to go further. It took a little doing to get ourselves turned around. First, Bob walked back down the road to see if we could back down the road and have a place to turn around there, but there was nothing.

So, we found space on the side to turn around avoiding the puddles, and after making a couple of “Y” turns, we headed back down.

We found a nice open, grassy area to eat our lunch near the creek.

While we ate our lunch, we saw another Stellar’s Jay fly by and lots of yellow butterflies that were flitting all around us. There were hundreds of them. A few even flew alongside our windows as we slowly picked our way down the rocky road.

In one section of road, there were these beautiful rocky spires towering high above us. I couldn’t get a picture of them on the way up, so I made sure to catch them on the way down.

The drive back was just as bumpy. Much of the loose rocks laying there were once tall spires themselves until nature took over and brought them down.

It took us about 2 hours to go 4 miles, up and back, at 2 mph, but the trip was worth the views.

We got back to the campground around 1:00 and stopped in the office to see if we could get permission to wash the bus. Water is at a premium out here, but they would allow us to do it if we promised to conserve water as best we could. Bob washed the front of the bus to get rid of the bugs and pollen, but it didn’t pay to do the rest of the bus today. We will give it a rinse tomorrow morning. Later, I worked on designing a rock for Bob and I to leave on the rock pile in the campground.

It wasn’t my best because I had to use nail polish (that was all I had). We delivered the rock to a location in the pile later in the afternoon. Who knows how long it will stay there, but at least we left our mark.

For the rest of the afternoon, we all sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine. Bob cooked chicken on the grill for dinner and we watched some TV outside with the firepit burning. Auggie and I got our walk in before the sun set and it got too chilly. Tomorrow we move on to Durango, which is a short 90-mile drive. We don’t have to leave too early to arrive after the check-in time of 12:00.

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