Monday, July 7, 2008

Monarch Pass, Poncha Springs and Colorado Crossroad Bed and Breakfast

In our last installment we left you sitting on the edge of your seats wondering if we would make it over Monarch Pass. Well, we decided that you have held your breath long enough and now we will tell you that it was quite the climb but we did make it. The climb starts at about 6,500' and tops out over 11,200'.

We are now “camped” at Colorado Crossroads Bed and Breakfast, in Poncha Springs, CO ( Since most folks do not know where Poncha Springs is, to find the B&B on a map - look at the intersection of US 50 and US 285 - it is just west of the "big city" of Salida. And we are just a couple of miles north of 50 on 285. Or - click here

For those of you that have read our travelogues in the past, you are well acquainted with the B&B. For those of you that are new to our travels to Colorado, this B&B is owned and operated by Shelley's Aunt Anna (Shelley's Dad's sister) and her son Omar and his wife Anne. You all are required to remember these names for future reference as there will be more blogs from here.

As always we are having a wonderful time here. The motorhome is parked in our usual spot behind the B&B.

Shelley is lending a helping hand inside the B&B with keeping rooms clean, Monte is doing hard physical labor installing new planting beds and Chief and Casey are trying hard to behave themselves. Chief spends her time sticking her head down every prairie dog hole several times each day and Casey dreams of being allowed to herd the 2 resident llamas.

This is not a place to come if you want to lose weight (even if you work as hard as Monte). Every morning there is something wonderful for breakfast that is freshly baked by Aunt Anna and Omar and Anne make the absolute best lattes to go with the baked goods. And it does not end at breakfast. Someone is always cooking and we just cannot say no to the good food.

We are amazed at the amount of snow still in the mountains this year. In the past we have only seen small patches here and there. This year there are still large areas of ice and snow and with the continuing melting the rivers are running at full blast. The headwaters of the Arkansas River are just a few miles north of here at Leadville, CO and Hwy 285 runs along side of the River for a long way. We are used to seeing it flowing along nicely with lots of rafters out having fun. This year, it does not look like too much fun to me. The entire river looks like Class V and VI rapids. The rafters are still hard after it but sadly the number of deaths on the river already this year exceeds all of last year.

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