Storm King and Castle Rock

After a few busy weeks of driving back to Colorado, the Outdoor Retailer Show, and adventuring back to Ridgway, it was definitely time to get out and do some classic Colorado hiking.

I’ve been wanting to hike Montrose County’s high point, Castle Rock, for quite awhile. Castle Rock doesn’t appear much higher than its neighbor Storm King from Highway 550 and Log Hill Mesa but the whole ridge is very prominent. I set off to follow the directions on Summit Post but on the ground things didn’t appear quite as described. Instead, I found myself at the base of these cliffs to the south of where I was supposed to ascend the ridge.

Storm King

I poked around a bit and found this gully that looked like it would “go” to the top of Storm King. Although it was really steep, it was an extremely direct way to attain the ridge. I think I totally preferred it to the wooded ridge recommended on Summit Post.

Ascent route Storm King

The gully attained the ridge just south of Storm King and I ambled south towards Castle Rock first, stopping a couple times to enjoy the views to the west and to get the lay of the land.

Cliffs near Storm King

Loooking south from Storm King

The ridge is fairly flat and it took me very little time at all to get to the summit of Castle Rock. Although things that I’d read seemed to insinuate that Castle Rock wasn’t all that impressive, I found the view amazing. I could look out to the east and the Cimarron valley, southeast to the West Fork Cimarron basin, southwest to the Sneffles Range and Ridgway, and west towards the Uncompahgre Plateau and beyond to Utah’s La Sal Mountains.

South from Castle Rock

Ridgway and the Sneffles Range:

Ridgway and Sneffels Range

Castle Rock panorama:

Castle Rock Panorama

I ambled over to the summit of Storm King before heading back to the Jeep definitely please with this hike!

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English Paper Piecing Quilt, Part 2

It took me almost a year and a half to finish the first phase of my quilting project and now just a scant three months after finishing that, I’m on to the next part! I’ve almost completed sewing the hexagons into groups of seven and now they’re all laid out on the floor awaiting assembly!

Assembled hexagons

Just like when I was making the individual hexagons, I aimed for about 250 hexagons to a quart size bag; this amounted to 36 pieces made up of 7 hexagons. This meant each gallon zie bag contained 1008 hexagons.

Assembled hexagons Laying out hexagons Hexagon flowers

I think I can start to visualize a finished product!

Hexagons

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Homeward Journey, Part 3: Bruin Point

Sprocket and I camped just down the hill from Strawberry Peak. In the morning, we meandered along Reservation Ridge Road and tried to descend a road through a canyon. Just before we reached the flats before US 6, the road was gated and locked. We turned around and headed back for Reservation Ridge Road and were treated to the happy sounds of a flock of grazing sheep.

Reservation Ridge Road

We finally left Reservation Ridge Road onto US 191 and descended towards Price, Utah. From Price, we headed for Bruin Point, another Utah 2,000′ prominence peak. The views just got better and better after we passed through Sunnydale and the road wound up to the summit at 10,184′.

Highway 191

Utah 123

Big Horn Sheep

Bruin Point Road

A pretty sweet aerial mining tram hung above the road most of the way up the mountain. I can’t find too much specific information but it looks like the mine was for natural asphalt. According to Carbon County’s US GenWeb site, the mine was established in the 1890s and closed in 1898. Between 1903 and the mid-1930s the mine operated occasionally, sometimes selling its product for 50% of its value to try and bolster the market. Today, you can still spot some tram cars on the cables as you drive up the valley.

End of Arial tram

Arial tram station

After hitting the summit of Bruin point, we headed back to the highway and turned for home.

Utah 124

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Homeward Adventure, Part 2: Strawberry Peak

From Strawberry Reservoir, we headed to our next objective, Strawberry Peak. Strawberry Peak is one of Utah’s 80+ peaks with 2,000′ of prominence. Sprocket hasn’t been up for much hiking lately so we were on a Jeep based peakbagging adventure!

Strawberry Reservoir

Ashley National Forest

Sprocket and Beth

Sheep dog and puppies

Ashley National Forest

Sprocket

After quite a bit of meandering around, we approached Strawberry Peak just as the sun was turning everything gold.

Ashley National Forest sunset

Strawberry Peak

We drove right the summit of the 10,335′ peak. What amazing views all around!

Jeep on the summit of Strawberry Peak

Strawberry Peak Benchmark

Strawberry Peak views

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