Summer 2011 Creede Journal

by Linden B. (Lindy) Sisk

I am blessed to be spending the summer in Creede, Colorado

The purpose of this document is to provide information, for those who might care, about where I am, and what I'm up to. It's for family and friends, some of whom are not on Facebook, and so I can post photographs I find of interest.

The document will be in reverse order for ease of reading, i.e., the most recent notes will be at the top of the document.

September 29

I left Creede on September 29th. The Mountain Views RV park shuts down October 1st, and the weather had been gorgeous, but I needed to get back to take care of some things before going out to Rifles Only for work on October 9th. Thanks to all my friends in Creede - your friendship and kindnesses helped me through some very difficult and dark days this summer.

I'm planning - and greatly looking forward to - being back next summer.

September 22

Windy Point - Mountain Reconnaissance

September 18

My Sunday in the Mountains

September 16

A Little Drive in the Country

San Luis Peak

A group from the RV park went for a little walk - up San Luis Peak, which is 14,014 feet at the summit, which we reached. The total hike was 11.8 miles, with a total elevation gain and loss of 8724 feet.

The Week Before Labor Day

A busy week, indeed, filled with hiking, friendship, and wonderful scenery

August 27

Tristan, Alex, John, Sue, and I wandered around the McKenzie Stock Driveway.

July 22

Tristan MacDonald, Brittany Fraser, Zach Fraser, and I took off for Four Days on the CDT.

July 19

I wandered up to the summit of Fisher Mountain. Another awful day in the mountains.

Fisher Mountain Summit

July 17

I wandered up Jarosa Mesa from Spring Creek Pass.

Distant Peaks

July 12

Well, I went for another little walk on the Continental Divide, this time west from San Luis Pass. The story is HERE. Here's the view from the top:

Distant Peaks

July 10

The Linked Page is pictures taken of the sky where I am the last two evenings.


San Luis Pass, July 9

I decided to take a look at San Luis Pass. A picture is below. The story is HERE


Thursday Group Hike, July 7

A group of us headed up to what we call Copper Mountain. A picture is below. The story is HERE


July 2 Brunch on Snow Mesa

Below is a picture from that hike. The rest of the story is HERE

Cairn on Snow Mesa

The high temperature recorded to date here in Creede is 82 degrees F. The humidity is so low here, though, that the heat index is usually about 5 degrees lower than the air temperature. My AC has not run since I left Santa Fe on May 26th.

June 20 - Life at 8600 Feet

Bristol Head, Morning, June 20

The picture above is Bristol Head this morning, after some snow up at 12,400 feet. The temperature down here when that picture was taken at 8600 feet is about 46 degrees.

This is a description of what a typical day here is like. At this time of year, the overnight low is somewhere between the mid-30's to the mid-40's Fehrenheit. Sunrise right now is about 5:45 A.M. - however, because of the mountains to the east, we don't get sunshine until about 6:30 A.M. I sleep at night with the electric space heater set at 50 degrees. I prefer the electric heat, because I can't turn the propane furnace down that low, and because the electric heater is much quieter. Most nights it never turns on. If the outside temperature gets below 40 degrees, it will come on at first about 4:00 A.M. I'm perfectly comforable under a 20 degree quilt on the bed.

Once I wake up, I turn off the electric heat, and start the propane furnace, with the thermostat set at 70 degrees. After making the bed, I set a black garment bag on the bed in the sun coming through the bedroom window, which creates a surprising amount of heat. I have breakfast and check on what's going on in the world over the Internet.

After about 9:00 A.M., the outside temperature is up to 55 degrees, and I am comfortable in the sun outside in shorts and a long-sleeve shirt. I open the door, which is on the east side of the trailer, the downwind side, and turn off the heat. I usually go for a walk for a couple of hours up the mountain to the south.

When I get back from my walk, I have lunch, and take a nap. The wind blows out of the southwest on most days, and the high temperature is from the upper 60's to the mid-70's, right now. The highest temperature I've ever seen around here in previous summers is in the low 80's, but it hasn't gotten above 76 so far this year. After my nap, I ride my bicycle the 2.5 miles into town if there is something I need from the grocery store, liquor store, hardwear store, or San Juan Sports.

Right now, the sun goes down behind the mountains to the west about 8:00 P.M. and the temperature starts to drop, but the real sunset occurs about 8:35, so the end of civil twilight is about 9:10 P.M. I take a shower before the temperature inside starts to drop. By the time I am done, it's gotten dark and the stars are out. The Milky Way can be seen by a bit after 10:00, and I'm in bed shortly afterwards, reading awhile before I go to sleep. There is almost no vehicular traffic around here after 10:30 P.M.

I do other things, of course, like hiking somewhere else in the mountains, or a bit of shooting practice on the range east down the valley. I read a lot. I am enjoying the peace and quiet, and I am very, very, very grateful for the many blessings conferred upon me.

June 13, 2011

I took a little walk today up on the Highline Trail, near Big Meadow Reservoir, to the south of Creede. There's an article with commentary and pictures. There's quite a bit of commentary, so I won't be offended if you only look at the pictures. I hope the article gives the readers a sense of why I keep returning to this area in the summer.

link: A Little Walk on the Highline Trail

This is the view out my dinette window. I'm in a site at the west end of the park, and have unobstructed views to the north, south, and west, and will continue to even if a rig parks in the site to the east.

View toward west

Summary From May 13th to June 2nd

I left Rockport on May 13th, blithely ignoring the fact that it was Friday the 13th, and drove to my sister Judy's house in Spring Branch, Texas. I shouldn't be superstitious about that date anyway, as I was born on July 13th, although it was not a Friday. While there, I visited my friends June and Chuck Hunt, who live nearby. They have a great deck, suitable for drinking beer and solving all the problems of the world.

My sister has a great porch, also suitable for that kind of activity. I'm an outdoor guy, which is why I spend 8 months of the year in Rockport, Texas, and much of the summer in Creede, Colorado. I'm active, walking/hiking and bicycling, but sitting outside with friends and family chatting and enjoying an adult beverage - fortunately my family are also numbered among my friends - is also one of my favorite things to do.

On Wednesday, May 18th, a party was held at my sister's house to celebrate National EMS Week. My sister works for Bulverde-Spring Branch EMS. My admiration for the nation's First Responders is immense - these are the folks who are running toward accidents and disasters when everyone else is running away - and the group my sister works with are talented, dedicated, and interesting as one might find. I enjoy their company and listening to them talk shop.

On Thursday, I left Spring Branch and drove to Roswell, New Mexico, a distance of 514 miles. That's longer than I usually care to drive in a day, but I started early, and made Fort Stockton by lunchtime, so I kept driving. The hour I gained in transition to Mountain Time helped, too. I stayed in the Town and Country RV Park on the south side of town, a very clean and nice facility, with big pull-through sites. I was a little tired, so I didn't unhitch the trailer.

I was up early, and headed out toward Santa Fe, which is only about 200 miles from Roswell. I booked into the Santa Fe Skies RV park, which has a great location. I stayed in Santa Fe for 6 days. Santa Fe is a great place to visit - lots of good restaurants, museums, and art galleries. There are something like 130 art galleries, which is obviously too many to see all of them. I visited the Artisan art supply store to pick up some painting supplies, as I intend to paint some landscapes around Creede, or try to with my limited skills. Maybe painting a lot will improve my skills. I also visited Bandelier National Monument. The cliff dwellings are impressive, and I hiked the Falls trail down to the Rio Grande, which has two very nice waterfalls.

Hanging out in Santa Fe at around 7,000 feet also helped me acclimate to a higher altitude, building some more red blood cells for oxygen tranport, which I'll need in Creede, which is 8852 feet high.

On May 26th, I moved up to Creede, into my site at the Mountain Views RV Park, with the view out my dining room window to the west which may be seen in the picture above. I immediately ran into some old friends from both Texas and Lousiana, and made some new ones. I've been getting a little exercise, both walking and bicycling. A group of us had dinner together both Tuesday and and last night, and last night I went to the play I Captured the Castle at the Creede Repertory Theatre, one of the 10 best rated repertory groups in the nation. I enjoyed that greatly - I got to thank and shake hands with all of the cast members after the show.

The weather here has been cool at nights - down to 21 degrees one night - and a bit windy. We even had light snow showers on Memorial Day during the ceremony at the Veteran's Park downtown, but there was no accumulation except up on the high peaks. Days have been mostly warm, in the 60's and 70's, and breezy. The winds typically drop off in June, and the weather warms up - there are currently no nights below freezing in the forecast. I enjoy the cool nights, which make for great sleeping weather. When it's clear at night here, the stars are spectacular, with the Milk Way right overhead and visible constellations everywhere. The Star Walk app on my Iphone has gotten a workout, as I renew acquaintance with constellations I know and find new ones.

So, that's a long post, and subsequent ones will be shorter.
© 2011 by Linden B. (Lindy) Sisk

All Rights Reserved