At this point, Colorado had begun to lift more of their restrictions due to COVID19. Restaurants were permitted to open as long as they followed strict guidelines. As we passed through Pagosa Springs, we decided to stop and have lunch. We dined “outside” at Tequilas Pagosa and enjoyed looking out at the place where we had honeymooned years ago.
I have to admit that it felt weird to be eating and drinking at a restaurant, but we enjoyed it! About 30 minutes from Pagosa Springs, we found a perfect place to boon dock along the San Juan River off East Fork Road. There are several dry camping spots scattered along this river and they are all free.
You need to see the aerial view to see how special this spot was.
We both slept soundly enjoying the constant sound of the rushing water just outside our windows. In the morning, I found my perch where I could enjoy my coffee and the view.
The trailhead for Coal Creek Trail was a short walk down the road. We hiked 5.72 miles round-trip with 1,797’ elevation gain.
The next day we took a drive along East Fork Road to Silver Falls. It was a short, steep hike to reach the vibrant falls.
We crossed the East Fork River and continued on East Fork Road. On a few occasions, we had to drive through one to two feet of water. One such crossing was Quartz Creek.
On the way back, I took the wheel. It is exhilarating to drive through water.
The next day, we hiked Coal Creek Trail again. This time, we made it to the top of the ridge. In total, we hiked 8.93 miles with an elevation gain of 2,933 feet. The trail is partially shaded by the many evergreen trees, with switchbacks that slowly gain in elevation. Although, some sections were a bit steep.
That evening, we were relaxing in our chairs when a forest animal came to visit. This was a first for me. The skinny creature looked hungry. We were surprised that it came so close to us. He ran away before I had a chance to.
The next morning, it was time to get ready to head out. I offered to get up on the roof and sweep the many pine needles off the top of the three slides.
On to Buena Vista!