Rio Grande and North Clear Creek Falls with HIGH Water

My friend and neighbor, Karen, and I took off today and headed north of Creede to see North Clear Creek Falls with high water. Karen had never been there and, according to old timers, the water hasn’t been this high in a lot of their lifetimes. I’ve been feeling (in the midst of puppy training) that I should GET OUT THERE but when you have to train a puppy, you have to train a puppy.

The drive up was amazing — the river has been flooding, mostly in flatter areas. We saw a place where it had apparently taken out a railroad track. Lots of fields were flooded and others were filled with wild iris. In the field near our hospital, where a large herd of bison live, we got to see bison in their winter coats standing and grazing in a meadow of blue and white flowers. We should have stopped to take pictures, but didn’t. We had a bit of a time crunch because Teddy was neutered today and I had to pick him up at 3. It’s a 78 mile drive to get up to the falls and we took off at 10.

All along the road — which winds along the Rio Grande — we were stunned by the high water. Karen, who could look out the window, noticed places where decks of summer homes were under water. Bridges — car and narrow gauge railroad — were VERY close to the water. Anyone attempting to raft would lose their noggin and the top of their raft.

The Rio Grande

We got to the top of the road which is just twenty some miles from the place where Alferd Packer ate his friends one desperate winter. This is what we saw.

We were hit by the spray, admired the rainbow, and I kept thinking of this poem from Goethe’s Faust Part II

“Let the sun stay in my back, unseen!
The waterfall I now behold with growing
Delight as it roars down to the ravine.
From fall to fall a thousand streams are flowing.
A thousand more are plunging, effervescent,
And high up in the air the spray is glowing.
Out of this thunder rises, iridescent,
Enduring through all change the motley bow,
Now painted clearly, now evanescent,
Spreading a fragrant, cooling spray below.
The rainbow mirrors human love and strive:
In many-hued reflection we have life.”

Goethe, Faust II, trans. Walter Kauffman

Day Trip to Creede, Colorado

Yesterday my friends and I had an adventure to the old mining town of Creede, Colorado. It’s a very busy tourist place in summer, but it isn’t summer yet, and the big challenge was to find a restaurant that was open and then open on a Monday.

It’s still late winter up there — the snow is melting, but the fields are still snow-covered and the mountains, of course. It was a beautiful drive. Lunch was good — but even the little restaurant where we ate was very busy getting ready for tourists by expanding and remodeling while it was open. After lunch we decided to “see the town” (one street).

Not far from our restaurant an old (meaning my age) hippy, skinny, tan and working with his shirt off (it was 50 degrees/12 C) was busy working on the stained glass windows of Creede Community Church, taking off old glass exterior windows and replacing them with a new kind of plastic with rubber gasket things to keep the stained glass windows dry.

We went inside the church — a beautiful frontier church with curved pews and soft light. Where a choir might be there was a gigantic flat-screen TV. I wondered what function it played in the church. A lot of the churches around do not have their own ministers (or “vicahs” as my Episcopalian Aussie friend says ❤ ) and the church leaders often visit two or three churches on a Sunday and, even then, maybe not every Sunday.

The guy had a friendly blond Labrador named Jasmine who came and talked to us. I answered in dog and scratched her back.

From there we wandered up the street, into a very lovely gallery/shop which was full of boxes of new merchandise they were trying to unpack and inventory. There are many beautiful things in that store — from jewelry to handmade garden sculpture. I saw some collages and encaustic paintings by my friend Perla. From there we went up the street. San Juan Sports had boxes of nice stuff out on the sidewalk, stuff they wanted to clear out and I found a sweatshirt I liked.

We pressed on, looked at what the repertory theater is offering this coming summer and savored the fact that the town was empty.

Creede is a comparatively rich town, but it also has a lot of citizen loyalty. I always think of my little town when I’m not in it, and I thought of all the charming things that Creede has done that we could do. One is this little park built where once there was a building.