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GD24-ATUW and GD24-AULA visited, GD24-ATWO not reached Saturday, June 14th

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  • John Paverd
    ATUW is at 9300 feet in Pike National Forest in South Park, Colorado, near Tarryall reservoir Early on a sunny morning, I headed into the mountains along US
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2003
      ATUW is at 9300 feet in Pike National Forest in South Park, Colorado,
      near Tarryall reservoir

      Early on a sunny morning, I headed into the mountains along US 285.
      After crossing Kenosha Pass and descending into South Park, I turned
      east onto County road 77, which followed the winding South Platte
      River past rocky outcrops and picturesquely decaying abandoned wooden
      houses. I turned off onto a forest access road, which was little more
      than a double-track, but passable. I parked next to the road (photo),
      and walked up a rise to the dashpoint. From there I had a panoramic
      view of the mountains to the west of South Park (photo). With the
      warm sun on my shoulders and the fragrance of sage in my nostrils I
      was inclined to tarry, but with hundreds of miles still to drive that
      day, I returned to my car. Once a hummingbird had finished inspecting
      it, I left.

      I continued along the back roads of Colorado, passing 2 buffalo
      grazing next to a tipi, the Taryall reservoir emptied for repair,
      over a small range of hills, more abandoned houses, Eleven Mile
      Reservoir lined with people fishing, over another range of hills, and
      through the quaint town of Guffey (photos at http:
      //stevegarufi.com/guffey.htm). Finally I reached another highway,
      Route 9, then turned west along US 50, as it followed the Arkansas
      upriver. I took a break to watch whitewater rafters enjoying the
      spring run-off.

      ATWO is in the McCoy Gulch state trust / wildlife management area
      near Cotopaxi, Colo.

      I turned off US 50 onto Fremont county road 37, another dirt road,
      which headed towards a pyramid shaped peak in the Sangre de Cristo
      range. My GPS then directed me onto what looked like a dry, sandy
      riverbed. After about 1/2 a mile, the riverbed turned into something
      more like a road. A locked gate stopped me .8 miles short of my
      destination. On the left gatepost was a hand painted sign that said,
      "Notice. No trespassing. Deeded land," and below that another sign
      posted by the Animal Damage Control section of the US department of
      Agriculture. This had the ominous heading: "Danger, Traps!" (Photo).
      A herd of black, white, and brown goats on a nearby hill seemed
      oblivious to the danger. However, I was afraid that I was not made of
      the same stuff as Aaron Ralston, and would not be able to hack my leg
      off with a blunt penknife if it got caught in a trap, so I turned my
      car around and went back to road 37. I continued south on the very
      rocky, narrow road to highway 69. Not for the first time, I thought
      that what I really needed for this game was a 4WD high clearance

      AULA is at 8500 feet in the Wet Mountains southwest of Westcliffe,

      Highway 69 runs along the lush Wet mountain valley between the Wet
      Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo mountains. When I reached
      Westcliffe, I stopped at a park to eat lunch and look at the
      mountains. However, closer sights distracted my attention. A toddler
      came up with a grin, put her juice box on the table, and climbed up
      to join me for lunch before her big sister came and took her away. A
      married couple was just coming out of a church nearby, and a jazz
      band was playing under a pavilion on the opposite side of the park.
      And I saw a woolen-capped Rastafarian.

      After lunch I drive south out of town on 69, then turned off and
      drove east up into the Wet Mountains along dirt roads that have
      apparently been laid out for a future housing development. My maps
      weren't up to date here, so I drove around following the pointer on
      my GPS until I closed in on the road that contained the dashpoint,
      Ute Path. A small sign that read "Filing 4 Block 6 Lot 3" marked the
      plot that contained the dashpoint. There was a large rock outcrop,
      and a dead tree near the dashpoint (photo). There was a great view of
      the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west. Looks like a pleasant
      place for a home, (in summer anyway).

      To make a long story less long, I returned home by driving east over
      the Wet mountains to Pueblo, then north. The trip was about 500 miles
      long. Perhaps a long way to drive to reach only 2 dashpoints, but it
      was one of my most enjoyable dash hunts for the diverse and
      attractive scenery I saw along the way.
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