Part III: Lead King Basin Loop Continued and Redstone Coke Ovens
Now comes the craziness. Besides the ride being bumpy on the loop, I was white-knuckled at times. We really had no business being on that road with my husbands huge, lifted, wide-wheel based truck. As I mentioned in my previous post, the signage didn’t mention all of the “requirements”. As I also mentioned, my husband is an excellent, skilled driver. He kept telling me to look at him – “Do I look scared? I’m not worried.” Sorry folks, I’m a worry wart girl. We would never do this drive during the raining/melting season or the Winter.
The whole day was filled with stunning scenery. The trip around the loop took us about 5 or 6 hours with all of the stops that we made.
Kind of a tight fit?
Absolutely beautiful scenery though!
Here’s the sign I was talking about in the last post. The first sign that we saw at the beginning of the loop wasn’t as nearly dead and dread as this one!
All of a sudden, we finally reached the town of Crystal. This is it. From what I’ve read, I think you can actually rent these old houses. Being in the town also means that WE ARE ONLY HALF WAY!
Now, I still don’t really know where I am. I know it’s a ghost town. We pulled over so that I could read a couple signs. The above sign and the next one are actually looking back from where we just were.
I still am not sure what building they’re talking about. I walked a little past this vehicle, and BAM! I had always wanted to come here! I have seen images of this all over the internet! For some reason I thought that it would be a major hike to get to see it. I had no idea it was right off the road!!! (Although, keep in mind, it is a gravel/dirt unmaintained road for 4WD vehicles only.) The area was roped off, so I pretty much stayed legal. With some of the images that I have seen online, some people go rogue – or maybe the ropes are new. Welcome to the Crystal Mill:
I so wish we would have been able to see it a week or two prior, before most of the leaves had fallen!
Here we go again. Another 7 miles to go! From what the owners of the above vehicle told me, the road is a bit better than what we had already traveled. The woman actually said to me, “You drove on that road with THAT?”
The road, at one point, was pretty much just as bad as before the 1/2 way point. This time my husband was on the outside near the steep drop-offs.
Once again, my husband was tired. I’m sure it’s very tiring being the man who needs to drive careful so as not to get us killed. We found a place that we could pull off the road. This is Lizard Lake:
Just before climbing back into the truck, I saw some neat roots from a tree:
We also drove through a campground, but it was getting pretty dark. My next post is my last from our little getaway to the Snowmass Village area. Heading back towards home, we stopped for me to hike around Monarch Lake in the Arapaho National Forest, just South of Grand Lake, Colorado.
Head over to the next post.