September, 2016

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Alpine loop…

Imogene Pass is by far not the only track traced in these mountains. I went through Ouray buy some fresh food before traveling part of the Alpine Loop, a track that some Jeep enthusiasts love to discover.
1. In Ouray even more than in Telluride, we believe to be a century ago!
2. The opera building.
3. Red Mountains which are aptly named, since my camp.
4. The next day, VivaLaVida begins by Gray Copper Gulch roa, amid the Red Mountains.
5. It’s color of the iron oxide which obviously gave their name to these mountains.
6. Colors are awesome!
7. While on the nearby mountains, the iron ore concentration is not as important.
8. At the first pass (12,400 feet), a small lake…
9. A little further, another cad and peaks powdered with snow of the night.
10. Lake Como, the larger of the area.
11. VLV cashes altitude unflinchingly.
12. Snow shower at 12,700 feet, over California Pass.
13. Downhill on the other side while the shower goes away.
14. I left VLV a few hours to walk to a swampy area.
15. Altitude bogs…
16. Everywhere, mining relics leave their trace. Here, a typical mine with tongue extracts waste.
17. entrance of Silver Queen Mine…
18. All were closed to prevent accident.
19. Nice surprise: I could finally capture the portrait of an adorable pika, so lively that it’s almost impossible to photograph.
20. It lives in screes and it sneaks in full speed.
21. New snow shower.
22. Small alpine lake.
23. Downhill into the next valley. I only saw two Jeeps that day…
24. For my brother and just as testimony because the picture is very bad: a golden eagle.
25. Another raptor that I have not positively identified.
26. There is plenty of marmots..!
27. Alpine biotope.
28. Within minutes, the track is covered with hail…
Well, following the Alpine Loop in the next update, hoping not to bore you with all these alpine tundra images…

Telluride and its mountains

Less than 200 miles away from Moab, landscape is fully different.
1. Telluride, small mining town founded around 1870.
2. Most of the buildings are original and façades are maintained around what they looked like then.
3. Main street.
4. In the side streets, small miners houses have become prized.
5. They are jealously kept in owning families.
6. Overview of the city that became famous ski resort, while VLV starts the track that will lead her to Imogene Pass.
7. Another example ofwhat was created by the gold fever: a carved into the cliff road that crosses a pass at over 13’000 feet above sea level, not less!
8. VivaLaVida sometimes seemed well wide on the narrow track. Would recommend as therapy for people suffering from vertigo..!
9. There is even a small tunnel to cross a rocky outcrop.
10. The road rises amid the still green aspens.
11. The tree limit stands between 9,500 and 10,800 feet elevation here.
12. The mountain is gorgeous with alpine tundra and large screes.
13. The rise is endless but VLV climb valiantly despite the altitude.
14. The last section is cutted in a 45° scree.
15. And here is the pass!
16. Altitude is on the GPS: 4029 meters or 13,218 feet! Impressive!
17. There are no more than loose stones up there.
18. Clouds arrived…
19. Mineral oxides are ubiquitous, coloring the mountains…
20. The trail near the pass.
21. Red Mountains through which VLV will sneak tomorrow.
22. Snow showers changing landscape…
23. Constrasts…
24. Mineral desert…
25. Down the other side.
26. The track is not of every rest but nothing to stop VLV!
27. Last section before the arrival in Ouray, another small mining town to discover in the next update.
Sorry for the long update, follow of the journey in a few days. 😉

Western Colorado

It’s been awhile that I wanted to explore Colorado mountains and as I have to cross the Rockies to go East, I took the opportunity to make a few detours.
1. Nice valley West of Uncompahgre Plateau.
2. The edge of the plateau is sometimes abrupt.
3. “Western” but actual building…
4. Small church in Gateway.
5. Beautiful mesa over Gateway.
6. The Dolores River has a particularity. To bring water to gold mining, in 1883, a company created a 15 miles canal which was suspended in the cliffs for 5 miles. Some vestiges remain clearly visible…
7. Here in closeup. It’s crazy what the search for gold and silver generated as work in the American West!
8. Typical saloon in a small hick town…
9. Wildlife is still abundant. Here a troop of deer not far from the road.
10. VivaLaVida approachs the mountains and leaves desert with altitude. Here the Lone Cone Mountain which looks like a volcano with this storm cloud.
11. Quiet camping in National Forest…
12. Of course with the campfire to cook the diner! 🙂
13. One of the symbols of the American West: artesian wells…
14. Pastures…
15. Highlands…
To be followed with a small glimpse of Telluride, a small town in the foothills of mountains.

Mee Canyon Alcove


Sandstone du Colorado…

J’ai décidé de faire quelques détours sur la route de l’Est, en commençant par la découverte de quelques arches naturelles. J’ai traversé le “Colorado National Monument” qui n’a rien d’exceptionnel à mes yeux puis emprunter une piste assez rocailleuse sur une vingtaine de kilomètres.
1. Colorado National Monument, de hautes falaises de sandstone.
2. N’ayant pas trouvé la piste alors qu’il faisait nuit, j’ai dormi sur Grand Mesa, à 2’680 mètres d’altitude.
3. General Store perdu…
4. Ela Natural Bridge, non loin de là.
5. A défaut de puma que je n’ai toujours pas vu, j’ai aperçu une espèce extrêmement rare : un jeune éléphant d’Amérique ! 🙂
6. La rim que je découvre comporte cinq arches naturelles, ici celle de Hole in the Bridge Arch ainsi qu’une autre sans nom.
7. Sandstone…
8. Aérienne Centenial Arch.
9. Le vente et la pluie ont sculpté la sandstone.
10. Et au bout du sentier, voici Rattlesnake Arch, l’arche du serpent à sonnette (que je n’ai pas vu là…).
11. Un rocher en équilibre sur le flanc du canyon…
12. Ayant découvert une autre curiosité à découvrir (dont j’ignorait l’existence jusqu’à un panneau au trailhead), j’ai dormi sur place. La couchant m’a gratifié d’une lumière très inhabituelle, le grand feu de forêt sévissant actuellement au Wyoming envoyant sa fumée dans le ciel…
13. Couchant…
Voilà pour aujourd’hui. Découverte de l’une des plus grandes alcôves du continent nord américain dans la prochaine update… 😉

VLV is back in action!

It is on September the 7th in the morning I found my “home on wheels” back for the coming weeks. Significantly cleaner than when I let her since Fullservicestorage that housed VivaLaVida for more than one year has cleaned her!
1. Dashing!
Having installed the track rod with new ball joints and wired the oil cooler fan installed the eve of leaving VLV in 2015, I took the road to visit Hans and Madeleine in Moab, hosted by high températures: 98F at 5 PM! I slept near some bentonite hills North of Moab.
2. Boondocking
3. This clay, often colored by inorganic oxides in different sedimentary layers, is always spectacular.
4. Late afternoon light.
5. Quiet Wake up…
6. Silhouette of La Sal Mountains in the morning.
7. Castle Valley…
8. Fisher Towers in front of La Sal Mountains.
9. Along Colorado River…
10. Not sure that in case of gas failure, it is of great ease..!
11. Colorado River North of Moab.
VivaLaVida is then passed in Colorado, discover some interesting spots. To come in a few days.

VivaLaVida is hitting the road again!

Here I am in Salt Lake City after 26 hours of travel.
I’m gonna find VivaLaVida back in two hours, more than a year after leaving her in a storage. So excited!
Next to come soon about this reunion… 😉