The Kilo Foot

June 4, 2001

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106-0687.jpg (103218 bytes)111-1118.jpg (81248 bytes)Today's route was from Cortez thru Durango to the Black Canyon Nat'l Park, a route suggested by "the ham" friend from work, who used to live around here. But first, please allow me to ask: what's wrong with this place? Roads seem to have an identity crisis here. US-666 north / south? A road straight to hell, or maybe not so straight because it's pointing the wrong way, but at least it leads through the town of Purgatory, I kid you not. They seem to have a sense of humor here in Colorado...

107-0703.jpg (116401 bytes)111-1127.jpg (69191 bytes)The rather short but picturesque trip lead through many mountain passes. I felt like at home: winding roads, dashed line allowing passing, no guard rails. Darwinism at its best, maybe we should send some CA highway people here to visit. 

111-1140.jpg (90935 bytes)Approaching Silverton, the little boy inside of me was once again awaken (yes I know, you say now, it was never dormant in the first place!) when I saw a steam locomotive from afar. Immediately I had to take numerous pictures of such a marvelous piece of early engineering. Essan was looking at me like at what I am, a little boy. The rest of the town of Silverton looked like a flashback into older times, less the busses and SUVs and there like of course. 

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111-1149.jpg (130322 bytes)112-1275.jpg (99846 bytes) From Silverton we continued north on 550 over more passes. Here I observed one more cute thing about America - the Kilo Foot. As we drove I kept an eye on my GPS receiver, which was patiently showing the altitude climbing and falling. But once we crossed 10,000 ft, a strange thing happened: the display switched to 10.1kf. What's next? I already heard rumors of acre-feet, so I am no more easily shockable, yet this kilo-foot was a bit stunning.

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Dinner was served in the East Portal river campground in the Black Canyon Nat'l Park. Some of the cooking tools saw their first use, and after the meal we went back up to the rim and watched the canyon at sunset.

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