Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dolores Canyon Overlook via Dove Creek.

Just as you're about to leave the little town of Dove Creek, Colorado (heading eastward), and you see Adobe Milling at the top of the short incline; a road leads off to the left of a shabby looking building.  This unmaintained road leads to the Dolores River Overlook, or the Dolores Canyon Overlook...this tale is of the latter.  It was a late Sunday morning, Roy and I were simply driving around to see what we've missed on minor roads; we are a curious pair in more ways than some.

This road led us through farmland, ranch land, abandoned building here and there; every once in great while a sign indicated we were still going in the correct direction.  We were on a leisurely drive, so didn't even bother to take down notes; this was one of those "we don't care where we end up" kind of adventures.  At the intersection of RD H6/ RD H12, we took H6 and a short distance along was a split; a sign indicated the Dolores Canyon Overlook was the left hand path.  It wasn't long before we came to a parking area where there is a picnic area and restrooms.

The trail to the overlook is mostly natural terrain, but you can see where the park service helped to create the path also; at the end is a small rock wall.  Being the 1st of November, it was a cold, yet clear and sunny day; the landscapes before us were absolutely beautiful.  It was also elk and deer hunting season, so the echoing of gun fire could be heard throughout the canyon.  There is no hunting allowed along this trail to the overlook, but there are trails for ATV riding on each side of the 4 wheel drive, main path.

The Dolores River can be seen winding its way through the canyon.  We never got back to the actual overlook road near Dove Creek, but got to see the river anyway.

From the overlook, the entire town of Dove Creek can be seen.  By the way, a wind farm is being currently constructed in Monticello, Utah (approx. 20 minutes west of Dove Creek, CO); complainers say the windmills (which I believe are fascinating to look at) can be seen all the way from Dove Creek.  Nope!  Actually, they're not really visible until you reach Eastland, the halfway point between Dove Creek and Monticello.

We headed back to RD H6/ RD H12 intersection, went onto H12 and ended back on Route 491; still wanting to drive, we headed eastward towards Yellow Jacket.  Why Yellow Jacket?  It's actually because we had seen a sign on Road G that said, "Yellow Jacket Road", so figured we check it out.  It didn't work out the way we planned though.  So, what's Yellow Jacket like?  You blink, you miss it...there is the Post Office/General Store, several residential homes and then open land as far as the eye can see.  We drove along roads that were in terrible condition, probably due to the rain and snow the area had recently experienced.  I was smart to bring the Colorado DeLorme with us, just in case, so was able to navigate to the road that went to Hovenweep National Monument.  I looked up that "Yellow Jacket Road" and  discovered it went to Yellow Jacket Canyon, not the tiny, tiny town of Yellow Jacket itself.  All just part of adventuring, living and learning.

Eventually we came to a gravel road that looked very, very familiar and I told Roy to turn onto it.  "Are you sure?", he asked; "Yes, have I ever steered you wrong? ...and don't answer that!"  It wasn't long before we came to a crossroads which indicated where various towns were...Blanding, Bluff, Aneth.  I knew exactly where we were and told Roy to continue onto the gravel road to the right; he just stared at me, but did make the turn.  A half hour later, Montezuma Canyon Road (CR 146) came into view, and I just gave Roy that "I told you so." look.

CR 146 was in terrible condition the first 15 miles going northward; like I mentioned before, the recent rain and snow had definitely done a huge number on this road.  Many a time we had to cross over a once dry area where each side of the road had eroded terribly.  Once dry washes now had water within them, not enough to play U-boat commander, but enough to kick up water and mud up to the windows.

Bradford Canyon Ruins

Cow standing on a steep hill; wish I had such great footing.

Home in time for a well deserved dinner, then a movie before heading off to much deserved sleep.  Adventuring is so much fun, you really should try it.

Mary Cokenour

No comments:

Post a Comment