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Mountain Cabin Retreat - Sangre De Cristo Mountains

Photos From a 24-Hour Retreat In The Northern San Luis Valley & Mountains - April 27-28, 2009

Saguache County Road GG

San Luis Valley, CO

San Luis Valley, CO

A Retreat In Saguache County, Colorado

Life has been very rough in this first half of 2009, but I can't deny how blessed I am. Friends Derrick and Alan invited me to go with them on a 24-hour retreat in the northern Sangre De Cristo Mountains.

At first, I thought they wanted to have some kind of sappy men's bonding type of retreat, where we sit in a circle beside a fire and weepily share about our childhoods. I boldly pointed out I could do just fine weeping about my adulthood years! Derrick, the leader of our group, said we would have none of that. Instead, this would be about adventure, hiking and plain ol' getting away for awhile. :)

The three adjacent photos were taken as I sat in the passenger seat. We drove east on Saguache County Road GG in the San Luis Valley toward the mighty Sangre De Cristo Mountains.

Black Canyon Road We drove some more on Black Canyon Road, a bumpy dirt road that lead to one of many canyons in the mountains.
San Luis Valley, CO This was the very first photo I twittered on Monday afternoon. The beautiful San Luis Valley, known for it's wide openness and emptiness, is in the background.

The Cabin

"If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you're lucky enough."

Do you agree with that? :)

We stayed in a cabin that has no electricity, no running water (thanks to broken and frozen pipes) and no indoor plumbing. This outhouse would be my facility of choice for uhhhh ... doing you-know-what! :p) Outhouse
I'm keeping some things private about the cabin. All I will say is we stayed in the general vicinity of Valley View Hot Springs, a hot springs getaway with lodging.

I captured this nice shot of the cabin with snow in the foreground. Plenty of snow remains on the north slopes of mountains. The altitude was approximately is approximately 9,610 feet here.

This reminds me of a gathering in 2006 when friends rented a cabin in Maysville, CO.

Mountain Cabin

San Luis Valley, Colorado
Another Hike

Look at that! We had some nice views of the San Luis Valley!

Sangre De Cristo Mountains I made Derrick and Alan pose with the view to the north behind them. I think they are both used to me snapping pictures like crazy when they're with me! :-D

Hike To Horizonal Tree

The next morning, we hiked into Orient Canyon, but not before driving as far as we could on a very bumpy 4-wheel drive road.

The view of the canyon and the San Luis Valley from where we began our climb. Orient Canyon, CO
Upward we climbed. The views became grander and grander! Orient Canyon, Colorado

San Luis Valley, CO

Then we made it ...

Horizontal Tree! We estimated the altitude to be approximately 10,310 feet at this spot. Apparently this tree grew for many years with a large trunk growing horizontally. How about that?

All of my hikes and pages from the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and San Luis Valley:

  • 2004 Bike Trip in SLV
  • San Luis Shrine
  • Villa Grove, CO
  • Bonanza (2003) & Bonanza (2006)
  • Century Bike Ride
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park (2004)
  • High Dune (Great Sand Dunes)
  • Saguache, CO
  • Zapata Falls
  • UFO Watchtower
  • San Luis Valley Photos
  • Hooper, CO
  • Horizontal Tree

    Horizontal Tree

    Horizontal Tree

    I actually didn't ever sit on the horizontal tree, but I did get a picture of myself holding my green water bottle with that large mountain in the background. :) Sangre De Cristo Mountains
    What would a photo gallery in the mountains be without at least one celebratory snow photos. I love snow so much!

    My snow pages:

  • Snow in Buena Vista, CO
  • Snowfall in Buena Vista, CO (May 2008)
  • (my snow web site)
  • Snow
    Plenty of the Mountain Ball Cactus on this hillside. Mountain Ball Cacti
    We walked a short distance from the tree to enjoy this grand mountain view. Past those snowy peaks is Cottonwood Peak, alt. 13,588'. Derrick has climbed that mountain a few times. I'm jealous! Sangre De Cristo Mountains

    San Luis Valley, CO
    Drive On Historic Railroad Grade

    An abandoned railroad grade exists and travels north toward Hayden Pass Road and Villa Grove. This was our last adventure! :)

    Railroad Grade My camera probably doesn't show it, but the tiny town of Villa Grove could be seen way out there!

    We needed to get through a closing gate, where the end of the Valley View Hot Springs property ends. Fortunately we had a key to open it and continue on.

    Sangre De Cristo Mountains Nice view of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains!
    Railroad Grade My pages about railroads and railroad grades:
  • Colorado Railroad Museum
  • Railroad Grade in Manitou Springs, CO
  • San Luis Valley, CO

    Sangre De Cristo Mountains

    So many pretty views!
    Hayden Pass Road We reached the dirt road leading to Hayden Pass. Photo taken facing east.
    Hayden Pass Road Traveling west toward Villa Grove.
    Villa Grove, CO Arrival in Villa Grove. After all the slow and bumpy driving, it was nice to cruise at 70 mph on Highway 285 towards Poncha Pass. on Facebook

    Two Videos

    Chief the dog plays fetch with a deer's leg. (P.S. Chief has a Facebook group of admirers: Chief ... What A Great Dog.

    Footage as we stood on a windy ridge dividing Orient Canyon and Black Canyon in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.