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A Snowy Drive Photos Through Scenic Areas of Central Colorado

February 10, 2009 - A sudden turn of events required me to travel from Buena Vista to Woodland Park as soon as possible. It was snowing overnight and snowfall came down intermittently throughout the day. As much as I love to play in snow, driving in snow is another story, but I had to make the best of things.

If you live in this particular region of central Colorado, my photos will probably seem ordinary, but thought about my faithful visitors in places like Nebraska, South Carolina and Louisiana with this one. :)

Driving In Snow
The view of Chubb Part in Chaffee County as I approached Trout Creek Pass.

Photos and commentary by Steve Garufi in Fruita, Colorado. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

Buena Vista, CO
Snowy Colorado Drive

It was snowing significantly in Buena Vista. This was the view as I traveled west on West Main Street. Many of the streets were covered in ice and snow from previous snow and sleet storms over the weekend.

Johnson Village, CO

Midland Hill

Gunsmoke Truck Stop

Johnson Village, CO

TOP: Approaching Johnson Village, it did not appear the conditions would change, but I didn't notice the small area of blue sky out there.

MIDDLE: The view of Midland Hill, a mountain I've climbed three times recently. You can see my hiking info about it here: Midland Hill.

BOTTOM: A photo at the Gunsmoke Truck Stop. Now the truck stop is open 24 hours, which is a huge advantage if you're driving through Chaffee County in the middle of the night, but prices at the gas pumps in Buena Vista are usually about 10 to 15 cents cheaper than in Johnson Village. Be advised! ;)

Snowy Road Traveling on Highway 24/285 with a view of Limestone Ridge.
Chubb Park Approaching Trout Creek Pass, there is usually a grand view of the Buffalo Peaks to the left, but the peaks were covered in clouds.
Trout Creek Pass

Trout Creek Pass

The snowfall subsided at Trout Creek Pass.

I tossed in a photo of the initial descent from the pass as well.

South Park, CO The point where Highways 285 and 24 split. 285 travels straight ahead toward Fairplay, Bailey and Denver. The turnoff to the right leads to Hartsel, Woodland Park and Colorado Springs.

Oh and yes, the road was slick!

Ranch of the Rockies Traveling east in Park County, things began clear up. Look at the blue skies!

Those two small pointed peaks are behind one of the entrances to Ranch of the Rockies, a massive residential area in the boonies. I have friends who live there. :)

Hartsel, CO Entering Hartsel.
South Park, CO Wide open country! Much of this wide open area of Park County is also referred to as South Park. Yep, there really is a "South Park" in Colorado!

Many Coloradans have spoken of this portion of road (from Hartsel to Wilkerson Pass) as being very isolated, which it is. But I will say this: There were really desolate highways throughout New Mexico that put this road to shame in the lonely department! :p)

My last photo taken on my drive to Woodland Park was in Lake George. Here's a lazy shot from the car of the South Platte River. I wasn't in the mood to get out of the car and find a photogenic spot along the river.

Tarryall, Colorado

On the way back, I made a detour at Lake George and traveled to the rural and historic town of Tarryall. From Highway 24, take Park County Road 77 approximately 11 miles north ...

Park County Road 77
... when you see the white schoolhouse, you've made it to Tarryall, Colorado!

Note: I'd like to dedicate these few pictures to my friend Steve in Kansas. (I hope he appreciates these!)

Tarryall, CO
Three photos of a one room schoolhouse that served the community in the first half of the 20th century. Tarryall Schoolhouse Tarryall Schoolhouse

Tarryall, CO

Four photos of a historic marker on the site. Tarryall Schoolhouse Tarryall Schoolhouse

Tarryall Schoolhouse

A small house and two outhouses behind the schoolhouse. My guess, from reading about the social history of this era, is the small structure was the boarding house for whoever was the teacher of the school. Tarryall, CO
Two views of the mountains from the road. Tarryall, CO

Tarryall, Colorado

Many older homes like this one are in the area. One must wonder... How well are these structures winterized, if at all? Tarryall, CO
One photo of me as I took Park County Road 31 toward the Round Mountain Campground area back to Highway 24. Tarryall Region
West of Hartsel, I spotted buffalo!

Buffalo Ranch

Video - Snow In Buena Vista, Colorado

Interestingly, it remained clear with blue skies in Woodland Park and Teller County, but upon my return to Buena Vista, it was still snowing. Snow came down throughout the evening. Above is a fun video I made with Stephen as we drove around town in the afternoon. :)

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