The Drive of October 20, 2012

If you are a regular reader to my blog, you read the Chronicles of October 19, 2012 (Parts I, II, and II).

Well, the very next day we decided to go on a longer drive.  Specifically, to the top of the Continental Divide at Cottonwood Pass, and then on to one of the so-called Ghost Towns, St. Elmo.

To get there, we take the same route I drive every morning to get to work . . . down I-25, through Old Colorado City, through Manitu Springs, and up Ute Pass to Woodland Park.  Except we keep going . . . well, first we stop to get some doughnuts at The Donut Mill to shore up on the snack we already have.  Then we keep going, past Wilkerson Pass.

The reason I mention Wilkerson Pass is that I don’t feel I have left “home” until we get through there, and descend down where the antelopes forage.  We head to Buena Vista, gateway to the Cottonwood Pass . . . but before we head up, we stop for a hearty breakfast at a small cafe in Buena Vista.

Sated, and with a host of snacks more or less intact, we head up toward the top of the pass.


Yes, there be scenery a plenty . . . which, of course, slows our drive since some old fool insists on taking photos.




I particularly like the looks of the naked aspens, their branches set in suggestive poses.


Look at the above photo . . . that one aspen is leaning over to hug the other, while two more are extending their arms to join them.  On the left, almost running, two more are rushing toward the group, branches outstretched, eager to join the group hug.  Sheesh!  Get a room, why don’t you!

Actually, I like the aspens for the gray contrast they offer to the surrounding evergreens.


Wait . . . this is Cottonwood Pass . . .

I like the Cottonwoods for the gray contrast they offer to the surrounding evergreens.


“Dammit, readers! I’m an engineer, not a dendrologist!”

“I don’t know nothin’ ’bout identifying trees!”

Bottom line, I think some are aspens and some are cottonwoods, and I ain’t about to lift any bark to check which is which.

I do know about taking the color out of something.


20121020_1_DSC2898-Topaz 20121020_1_DSC2897 20121020_1_DSC2898_onOne

Just different treatments . . . mainly to pass the time until we get near the top of the pass.


Yes, that is another panorama.  It is the view looking East, taken from one of the pull-outs near the top of the pass . . . again, you should be able to click on it, and get the full sized one, with lots of details, but in case WordPress is still screwing up, here is the link:

The above is a panorama made up of about six landscape photos.  This next one is made up from either four or five portrait photographs.


And here’s the link for the above if clicking on it does not work:

This next photo is the view from the top of the pass, right at the Continental Divide, looking West.


What? . . . you want a panorama?  Sure!


And the link:

That’s a nice view up there, but it was pretty windy and cold.




Here’s proof of where we went (unless I Photoshopped it):


Here’s a photo of the road heading East again, this time from the very top of the pass:


And here is a panorama of it:


And that was it.  We headed back down, and made our way to St. Elmo.  As it was getting late, I did not stop to take any photos along the fairly scenic, but not spectacular, drive there.

St. Elmo was disappointing; it’s not so much a ghost town as the summer residence for a number of people, all wrapped around the idea of a ghost town.

20121020_1_DSC2935_DxO-2The problem is that it looks staged.

20121020_1_DSC2937Perhaps if it looked more like this . . . .

20121020_1_DSC2935_DxO. . . and this . . .


But instead, it looked like this . . . 


And this . . . 


Now, I admit there were some interesting things to photograph . . . 



That looked hand-drawn.

That looked hand-drawn.

20121020_1_DSC2993 20121020_1_DSC2978 20121020_1_DSC2984 20121020_1_DSC2987 20121020_1_DSC2989 20121020_1_DSC2991

However, as much as I enjoyed snapping photos, the place did not match my mental image of a ghost town.  All of the buildings are owned by someone, all of them are locked up, all of them are habitable (other than barns and stuff), and people live there at least for part of the year.

But, like I said, I enjoyed snapping photographs.  Photographs that can be seen in all their glory in the associated SmugMug gallery (HERE).






I did get a few decent photos of a Stellar Jay.



One thing I especially liked . . . the old iron bridge over the creek.




But, finally, and not that long into our visit, it was time to head out.  On the way out I stopped to get a few photos of the cascades we had passed on the way in.




There are a few more photos in the associated SmugMug gallery (HERE) for them inclined to visit it.

BUT WAIT . . . . 

We got home just in time for this . . . 20121020_1_DSC3053



All things considered, another pretty good day . . . which is finally part of a semi-permanent record.

If you enjoyed this moment, found the photos inspiring, found the description to be an easy form of learning, and the writing clever and full of mirth, feel free to share it.  However, if you hated the whole thing, and consider it a waste of time . . . why, then, it’s the perfect thing to forward to people you do not like!  It will serve them right!

Wrinkles in the Fabric of Fear

Wrinkles in the Fabric of Fear

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  If said astute person is curious about them, click on it for an explanation of their origin.

WordPress is still screwing around with trying to be a class operation.  As such, while they busily work to add features and themes I will never use, they are remiss in fixing problems like disappearing links.  So, if you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to:  Note . . . there is no guarantee WordPress will keep this as a link, but at least you can copy it and paste it on a browser’s address field.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me some recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline nominations whereby one blogger bestows an award onto another blogger, or group of bloggers.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I would much prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would actually mean something to me.

Should you still nominate me, I will strongly suspect you pulled my name at random, and that you are not, in fact, a reader of my blog.  If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards          About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.  

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Colorado, Photography Stuff, St. Elmo, Sunsets, Travel Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The Drive of October 20, 2012

  1. Chillbrook says:

    Wonderful pictures Emilio! Cotton Woods or Aspens, the trees are very beautiful and you’ve captured them superbly. As for the town, very photogenic.


  2. with respect to your opinion on “likes” i will not press the said button. but i have to say that your landscapes are masterful. sorry to hear the ghost town didn’t live up to its name. i visited my old home a few years ago – a military base that had been abandoned for 18 years and it was an experience. nothing staged there.


  3. oneowner says:

    Now that’s what I would call a fun (and creative) day!


  4. colonialist says:

    Phew – a marathon scroll-through, but amply worth doing so. Ghost towns without a ‘touristy’ touch of tlc soon vanish completely, so perhaps the element of artificiality is no bad thing.


    • disperser says:

      Yeah . . . I’m not known for keeping my posts short. I used to include only a few photos, assuming people would go to the album, but sadly, few people did, so I started showcasing more of them in the post itself.

      As for ghost towns . . . what I found mildly disappointing is that the image of “ghost town” speaks to me of lives gone by, of people’s dreams that once were.

      Because of the upkeep and permanent residences (all the buildings are owned), this looked more like a Rustic Town than a Ghost Town.

      I did not get the feeling of old stories, of broken dreams, of echoes of past lives.

      Still, some decent photo opportunities.


  5. seekraz says:

    What a nice little excursion…and well-captured proof that you were there……


  6. Anktesbirhun Alemu says:

    Oh I really really interested place and vary nice picture and the I like the natural parks so I can’t express my felling but I have decided to visit this area one day after my class.


  7. AnnMarie says:

    What glorious scenery! And I love the friendly trees! Next to being there, the panoramas give a hint of the enormous beauty to behold. As for the ghost town (. . . or not), you still managed to take some very interesting shots. I especially like the B&W of the house with the wooden fence, the colorful license plates with tires, that rusty boiler (?) against the snowy background, the two metal chairs and water pump, and the first creek shot . . . all very striking. Nice touch to close the post with that sunset!

    I hear SmugMug calling me . . .


  8. Pingback: Project 313 – Post No. 204 | Disperser Tracks

  9. mvschulze says:

    Love this post and am working my way through another about touring Colorado, – remarkable photos, including the panoramas and descriptions. Having been to St Elmo, (on a day when there were no other visitors (That’s good!)) and even have taken photos of my own of Chalk Creek, certainly piques the interest.
    This and others like it, deserve a lot of time to peruse, but generally are reminiscent of a better than good coffee table book, with your first-person descriptions and comments, and of course the photos. The problem is time allocation – which is MY problem of dealing (poorly) with retirement time-management. So, I peruse and set aside for another day the full appreciation of these treasures. M :-)


    • disperser says:

      Ah, yes, I know well time changes once retired. I used to work long hours and still accomplish much more than I seem to get done now.

      Personally, I think there’s a conspiracy afoot since it’s not only that time seems to have gotten shorter, but it’s also that it flies a lot faster than it used to.

      The combination of the two makes it impossible to get anything done despite no longer having a job or responsibilities of any kind. Heck, we don’t even have a house to maintain so I’m dreading the time when we’ll once again be homeowners.


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