Happy birthday to me and my mom! Our birthdays are only four days apart, so we usually celebrate both of them together with an adventure trip. I knew we were in for a long haul when dad put the topper on the truck. I heard the word Colorado and got excited. That’s my old stomping grounds you know. I was born in Denver and lived in Loveland for four years.
Anyway, mom loves to see fall color, and I enjoy the cooler temperatures of Colorado, so this was a perfect location for our birthdays. Mom picked Pagosa Springs, and we headed north on I-17. Once there, we continued on through town on the 89 North and then headed east on 160. Man, we were on that road for a long time…like six hours! Pagosa Springs isn’t an easy place to get to, that’s for sure. Colorado is an hour ahead of us right now, so we lost an hour. Dad assured me we would find it on the way back.
By the time we got to Pagosa Springs, it was 8:30 pm. We got a late start because dad had some work to do. All the restaurants close at 8 pm, so we were stuck with McDonald’s drive through. You can barely see it due to low-light ordinances. Anyway, I helped mom eat a burger, and we checked into the Pagosa Springs Lodge. It’s an old hotel, but they recently updated it with comfy beds and new TV’s. It’s located before you get to downtown and right next to the lake. We were tuckered out and slept soundly.
We had a nice breakfast at the Colorado Café right next to the lodge. We then continued east on highway 160. Just outside of town is a sign for Treasure Falls on your right. It is at the base of the pass that takes you to the Wolf Creek ski resort. The parking is limited but free. There are no human rest rooms, so plan accordingly.
You get a glimpse of the falls from the parking lot, but we encourage you to go all the way in. It is only a ½ mile trail to the falls and is easy. It had rained all night, so it was a little slick and muddy, but I didn’t care. It was in the 40s. Awoof!
As you hike up, you’ll come to a bridge overlook to your right. This isn’t the trail but another viewing and photo spot. Get back on the trail to the left to wind up to the actual base of the falls. It isn’t the biggest or tallest falls, but it is very pretty. Dad took me in for a quick dip.
We headed back to the car and got back on highway 160 east until we came to South Fork where we turned north on 149 toward Creede. This road takes you up and over a high-mountain pass of 12,000 feet. It started raining just as we finished our hike, and by the time we got to the Wolf Creek ski resort at the crest of the pass, it was snowing. Not only did we see spectacular fall color, we got to drive in the snow. How awesome is that?
It’s about an hour to Creede from Pagosa Springs, and it is worth it. Creede is an old silver mining town that sits at 8,799. Once upon a time, it was a booming metropolis! Now it consists of a few Bed & Breakfasts, restaurants and cool shops. We ate on the dog-friendly patio at Kip’s Grill. Mom and dad shared their tacos with me. The rain stopped, and we were able to walk around town. Me and dad checked out some art and parks while mom visited the stores.
Right outside of town is the Mining Museum. It costs $9 per person or $7 for those over the age of 60. Mom and dad only went to the gift shop but enjoyed learning about silver mining. We were starting to run out of day light and decided to head back down the pass before it got icy.
Again, the rains came and the high up we went, it snowed harder. This is an amazingly scenic drive, so if you have the time, we recommend it. By the time we got back to Pagosa Springs, it was getting late again. We opted to get Hunan Chinese delivered to the room, kind of like room service, which mom loves. We relaxed, ate and watched a movie. It wasn’t long before I settled into my cushy doggy bed for the night.
Next blog will be about a hidden gem of a hike to an unusually-colored lake. Until then!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!