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« Lebanese Flypaper | Main | Luttwak's Realpolitik »

Shrine Pass Photoblogging

This week's Jeep Adventure was at Shrine Pass, an easy but dreadfully potholed little trail, running from I-70 just east of Vail Pass to Red Cliff, on US-24 just south of Minturn.

The Shrine Ridge Trail that runs from the parking lot at the Pass has some nice views looking back towards the east. Unfortunately, the day was hazy, and I got a later start than I would have liked, so you may have to use your imagination:


The trail itself has a ton of wildflowers.


I can't tell you how hard it is to photograph fields of wildflowers. When you're standing there, all you see is the flower, and when you look at the picture, all you see is the grass. It doesn't help that the dog likes to eat the flowers, leaving even fewer to photograph.

The marquee attraction of the Pass road is Mt. Holy Cross. The gouges in the side of the mountain form a cross, and the snow stays there for most of the year. Apparently, it used to stay there for the whole year in most years, but to the simultaneous chagrin and joy of environmentalists, the drier, warmer weather has it looking more like an upside-down sword this time of year.


The end of the trail, the Red Cliff Bridge, which carries US-24.

Red Cliff itself is a tiny little town, with a bunch of run-down houses and a dog that likes to chase Jeeps. Even here, though, there is a "New Red Cliff," with vacation cabins on the road above the town, on the way out. I'm not sure why they don't buy up the dilapidated mobile homes in the main part of town and build over them. It's not as though there's a lot of mining activity supporting the local economy, and the one touristy restaurant can't possibly provide more than a full-time job or two.

Redevelop Red Cliff!


A few miles on down the road you will find the whole town of Minturn is for sale if you are interested in old Towns, however the waste running out of the old mine would probably bankrupt Bill Gates to stop the hazardous waste enough to meet OSHA Rules. I am old enough to remember when it was a perfect cross but the right arm (as you face it) has had a landslide that has distorted it.

Next time you are in Red Cliff stop by Mango's. They have the best fish tacos in Colorado (the secret is in the sauce) and have just remodeled including a great deck.

Donald, the old mine was a superfund site and has now been cleaned up enough that a developer wants to put in a private ski resort with a thousand or so homes in that area.

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