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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Castle>Dunes>Train>Panguitch, UT

Taylor to Bishop's Castle to Great Sand Dunes to Durango Train to Bryce Canyon ATV Rally, Panguitch, UT
(Durango>Panguitch - route was different.  Google reverts to the most common route when trying to show/embed the map, sigh.. )

So leaving Taylor RZR Rally,

I headed down to Bishop's Castle.

Stayed at a nice little NFS park, Ophir Creek, which was about a mile or two north of Bishop's Castle.

For 1 night, not bad. next to a stream, hidden a bit, but there nonetheless.

Next day, on to Mssr. Bishop's... about 2 miles away, so it was close..

Bishop's Castle was pretty kewl.  Just imagine what was done.  Sorta like cleaning a dirty spot in the kitchen and then  end up cleaning the whole house.  One brick at a time eh?

Parking was on the side of highway, not a problem if not crowded.  problem if it is...

All built by hands... two hands, by one man.  Each brick 'Handled' apx 6 times to get to the final resting place.

Then look at the size of it..

Amazing to say the least...

(and NO, I didn't try the above)

Next stop, Great Sand Dunes, CO, largest in  North America (apx 750' high) and can't be ridden, ORV, which is a good thing.

Frankly speaking, they didn't look that high, but? they say it is, so it's got to be true.

What did surprise me was the Photo affects i was able to get... blew me away and I'll look at the dunes with a different light, a-hem, in Adobe's  Lightroom.  I mean, its just sand right?  How exciting can that be??..

People were hiking up it and sand sliding down it...

It was good to see,  The campground was full, two sections, one for RSVP (as 'Mammy Yokum' used to say, 'Roast Skunk Very Possible, aka 'Skunked'???) and one FCFS (First Come, First Served) See 'Acronyms' on rt side bar.

Heading over to Durango, CO for the Durango-Silverton Train ride and to do Hwy 550.  A quick stop on the way to Creede, CO, just looked kinda kewl with the rocks.

I had a great Gourmet Tube Steak for lunch...

Durango Train ride, famous train shuttles, out and back, to Silverton, apx  3.5 hrs each way.

They have several riding options, I had to do the Cattle Car, opened and had rain gear packed.

You start at the station downtown, right next to McDonald's for a reference, plenty of 'Lot parking' apx $6 worth it as the streets are very limited and jammed.

A quick easy walk across the tracks gets you to the station and looking for your car assigned seat.

Rant here:
While being single can have it's benefits, it's a PITA when two nice yuppie couples buy tickets at the LAST Minute, get on but assigned different seats, one of which was next to mine.  They then "Ask..." if I could swap, so the could be together.. .Ahhhh, sooo Sweet... Gawd... and the single seat was on the other side of the train, not sure what the views would be.   While i agreed, reluctantly, I told them to wait till the train gets going.

As it turned out, my side was right along the river and outside of the gorge.  They came back and we all worked it out, crowded, but it worked.  They said they changed their mind to allow me to have the river view for photos (he had done the ride before and knew it).  It all worked out, but crowded, but the idea that since I'm a single, I would give up my seat cause they just felt at the last minute to book a train ride..
Rant Closed.


The ride was nice, a long one on a padded bench seat

and wandering around town was interesting.

Something to do once, wouldn't do it again unless I had "Two Busty Blondes" in my Red Ferrari that wanted to go at the last minute.. heheh, yeah, I know, next life...

I also wanted to do the Famous Hwy 550 and when asked about, everyone says, ohhh ahhh... steep and scary to drive.  Heheh, so why not...

I started, obviously, from Durango, heading towards Silverton where I was earlier yesterday on the train.  The road over, Hwy 550, wasn't bad at all, and I kept wondering "WTF is everyone talking about, just like a slightly normal Highway, like going up to Mt Wilson, Pasadena, CA... only a little steeper and drops offs too.

Then... making the turn just before Silverton, headed over to Ouray, CO.. never heard of it.  heheh, now I KNOW what they are talking about.  Hit rain squalls, narrow roads and coming back off the pass/summit, whoa... nice.. certainly doable, not problem, but you wouldn't want to be "Texting" it (nor photoing it) while driving it and don't recall any turn outs..   A must do, just to do it...

Ouray, CO was unique little town, apparently a great ORV jeepers area and many little restaurants on the main drag. I'd go back just to see/walk the town and eat... nice surprise...  I kept flashing  back to the Stargates' Ori or whatever they were called, due to the name.

On to the Bryce ATV Rally in Panguitch, UT.

As mentioned before, I like to go the back roads and try not to go on the same roads as before.  Obviously, I do have to hit the same roads, but if there's a back road, I'll try it even if it's longer miles/time, just to do it.. and mark it in the Map book.
The road I took surprised me, went right through a canyon and it was spectacular.

I could have spent  year there just photo'ing  it all...   A nice surprise.

Saw the rain squalls and I think a little hail, lightening and thunder, all the trimmings of a great storm.


I wen into Monticello, UT and overnighted at "The Devil's Canyon" which apparently is a great ORV riding area and which I further learned is where I have the "San Juan Rally" booked for middle of the month, Sept. heheh, small world eh??

Camp Host is a single track, bike, rider and gave me some ideas/maps on locations etc.  Not sure how this will all work out as campsite is between  and a few miles from Monticello and Banding, UT

Spent night there and then on to the KOA in Panguitch, CO.

Next stop?  Panguitch, CO Bruce ATV Rally.

Gallery Pic here:
Bishop's Castle
Great Sand Dunes
Durango Train