Day Trip to Saint Elmo, Pronghorns and Bighorn Sheep
Love the feeder hangers at the general store in the ghost town of St. Elmo, if I weren’t homeless, I’d have to find some of these to hang around my house.
Other than the general store, there really isn’t all that much to see in St. Elmo, though I did get a kick out of the assortment of rodents being fed in the fallen down remnants of a building across the street from the general store.
Two kinds of ground squirrel, least chipmunks, pine siskins, and juncos, all gorging on sunflower seeds.
On the road up to St. Elmo, I passed these white rock mountains, quite stunning set against the Colorado blue sky.
Rather than drive the main highway from my campsite at Lakeview, I found a “shortcut” that went up and over the hills and then paralleled the highway as it made it’s way to Leadville. I drove this road several times after seeing pronghorns in the distance one morning.
Finally, one afternoon I ran into the herd moving at a fast clip along the ridge between the dirt road and the highway.
The lone male takes up a guard position in the rear and drives his harem toward a new grazing area.
So fortunate to catch them as they stopped atop this ridge gazing back at me, before disappearing down the hill.
On my last early morning trip up to Independence Pass, I came across a small band of bighorn ewes with a solitary lamb, kind enough to pose for a couple shots before slowly grazing up the side of the mountain.
I broke camp at Lakeview and drove 6 miles south to spend one night at the Clear Creek Reservoir dispensed camping area before heading north to Estes Park for a couple weeks of exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Being more than a little concerned about the motorhome’s ability to climb the 8 mile grade on I-70 up to the Eisenhower Tunnel, I managed to find a shop in Buena Vista that could take me in to have the ignition wires and spark plugs replaced. For the last month or so, I could feel the engine sputtering a bit under heavy load and realized that I definitely was experiencing a loss of power. Anyone familiar with the Workhorse Vortex 8.1L engine would recognize the probable cause of this power loss … this is the fourth set of wires and plugs I have had done in 65,000 miles. A couple years ago, I finally had the Workhorse recommended fix for this installed, a pair of 3 inch fresh air lines that direct cool air up and back to the rear of the engine. I had hoped that would cure the problem, but obviously it did not, though it possibly did extend the time interval between having to replace ignition wires and spark plugs.
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