The couple days riding with the boys was fun. Everyone packed up and left Sunday morning. I took off toward Teluride as did Matt, Ryder, and DeWayne.
.....the last I saw of Matt.... Thanks for getting us all together.
The ride toward Teluride was majestic for sure, and took me to 10000 ft again.
Rico is a pretty little town along there somewhere. This was June 21st and it should have been prime time tourist season, but Rico was suffering from the recession like everywhere else.
My ride bypassed Teluride. I was headed toward Norway and Naturita, and Nucla. The last 2 towns were name for the urainium boom here in the '50s. I don't know what put a halt to uranium mining around these parts, but there are towns like Uravan just down the road that are completely gone.
I picked up a bike behind me. I moved over and waved him by....
....I noticed as I was traveling along the Delores River once more a little south of the Norway hill.....I was getting hungry.
I pull into Bear boat launch area. I should have been a little more cautious. I saw a car down in there, but it didn't register that he was getting ready to come out the steep entrance, and that he probably didn't see me.
As I pulled in he was making a little run at his exit hill. There really wasn't room for 2 vehicles to pass. No way was I able to back up. He pulled over as far as he dared, and I was able to squeeze by.
It was squeeky, and with just a little more caution on my part it could all have been avoided.....but what the hell, that's what makes it an adventure, right.
I got a stove out and heated up last nights spaghetti. I sat by the stream and looked for a raft or something to come by. Nothing but one duck came floating by. He looked like he was having a ball with the river all to himself. BTW, those pliers make an excellent pot holder....and have a 100 other daily uses.
Finally I make it to Paradox Vally. My goal Is Glenn Case's ranch still some 20 miles away.
I spent three days with Glenn learning how to ranch a hay farm. Glenn's wife, Enid, has roots in this valley that go back to 1880. Her great GF came here from the Ca gold rush. It is said that he had asked a mtn man where he should go as he wasn't making it in Ca. The man told him that Paradox valley was the most beautiful place that he'd ever seen. I tend to agree....
The trouble with the valley was water. The nearby La Sal Mtns had plenty of snow pack to supply water through the summer growing season, but it needed to be managed. So back in 1890, the ranchers got together and hired a man with a team of horses and a drag bucket to dig this ditch for 5 miles along the upper side of the valley for irrigation. It's been doing it's job ever since.
Glenn seemed very relaxed in the last picture, but I followed him for 2 days as he managed his 2 rolling irrigation lines. It was fun for me, but it was frustrating as well with all the things that went wrong that would stop the watering.
Glen had finished bailing the hay the day that I arrived, but he still had to get rid of the hay before anything bad happened to it. It's a liability till it's sold and off the property.
Glenn had 65 ea 15000 lb bails out there at $120 dollars a bail. He gets three cutting a year. The first cutting goes for his hay making expenses. The next 2 are his profit.
He make a small fortune there, by starting out with a big fortune.
We moved hay and worked on the sprinklers for 2 days before we could take a day off. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't work for me, I was just playing with new bigger toys. I had a blast.
Enid took good care of me. I didn't get any breakfasts like this on the trail....
I don't want to bore you with ranching...After the hay was finished, Glenn and Enid and Buddy took me for a ride over the the La Sal mtns.....