Once you reach the top, there really isn't any way to go but down. (Gene-o figured that one out by the crackling of a campfire one night.) And there HAS to be a better way to go than what we just came up..... so we move forward down the upper valley toward the drop-off into the infamous Kootchie-Kootchie Gulch just to check things out.
On the way to The Gulch, we pass a fairly large tarn where the Smoyer Expedition (yes, the same famed expedition that scouted the waters near Angel Fire, New Mexico ... and had similar hallucinations) reported seeing a SeaSerpant-like creature emerge from the lake and drag full sized mountain goats and the famed Rocky Mountain horned pigs to their death.
Once we arrive at The Gulch, there appear to be several ways down. The easiest, by far, is the four-wheel trail built over one of the original pathways of the Kootchie-Kootchie Indians (which means, roughly translated, "those with feet that cling to rocks like suction cups"). It's a slow go, but the trip is well worth it, since there are so many wonderous things waiting in The Gulch like remnants of history stretching back through the ages - license plates from the 1930's; Prince Albert cans almost completely rusted through; square nails that haven't been used in years. The awesome sense of historical perspective is simply overwhelming if the mind is not geared for it. There's some really old shit around these parts!
As we search for a place to set up camp for the night, we take a look around to discover why this is called a "gulch." meaning small canyon. It's fairly obvious, I suppose.
And it's in pretty bad shape, to boot. Later that evening, having no door to guard, Gene-o decided to police the area a bit and straignten up a few of the rock that were just laying around without any order to them whatsoever.
The howling coyotes and the howling wind through the night seemed to drown each other out, and things went fairly well. The morning showed that a light dusting of snow had fallen, not at all unusual in a place like Colorado, where men are men, and sheep are terrified. But we were glad to have made it down that section of road before things got that early morning frost.
Our adventure will continue.......
We briefly interrupt this program for a special announcement.