About 1 1/2 miles south of Matterhorn CG and 6 1/2 miles south of Sunshine CG is Trout Lake which is a spectacularly beautiful man made lake surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. We don't have fishing licenses so we were there to enjoy the scenery from our Sea Eagle kayak and to spend time with Carl and Clara while they fish for trout in their float tubes. They caught 2 small trout which they put back because they were too small for their liking.
Nancy and I paddled all around the one end of Trout Lake in the Sea Eagle and found it to be quite stable and easy to maneuver and propel thru the water. It was a very calm day which makes everything work better in a small kayak like ours. It doesn't do quite as well when the wind picks up, but overall is quite a nice little craft and it compacts very nicely for transporting in the back of the Ranger. The sun is very hot at this altitude and we were happy that we had lathered up with 45 sun block before leaving the rig. The life preserver that I used was quite uncomfortable and will need to be replaced with a more comfortable one if we are to do much kayaking. It's a great life preserver that will likely save your life in serious white water, but we're not likely to be doing any of that kind of boating any time soon, if ever.
The float tubes that Carl and Clara have are really neat and are of some interest to us, but I doubt that we'd use them enough to be worth the money and space, so we'll likely stick with the Sea Eagle.
We're going to be meeting Carl and Clara and several other couples there sometime soon to do some more boating and fishing. Should be fun.
Ophir Pass Road (FR 630) starts at Rt 145 between Sunshine and Matterhorn CG and crosses the San Juan Mountains to Rt 550 a little north of Silverton. It's about a 10 to 12 miles serious off-road experience, but is by far the shortest way to get over the mountains to Silverton from where we are. We've talked to several people that have done it and they say that it's not that bad and that we shouldn't have any problem doing it with the Ranger. We plan to do this very soon and check out a National Forest campground located a little north of Silverton that we've heard is very nice and will handle big rigs. We'll also check out Silverton while there and return the same way that we came if it isn't too rough. If it is we can always go back the long way which would take us thru Ouray and Ridgefield and back down Rt 145 to Telluride and our campground. Having a high clearance 4 X 4 is really a great asset for us.
All of the pictures taken at Trout Lake were taken on Nancy's Canon SD 1200 IS camera.