Chuck Mack: My kind of sky
November 1, 2008
My wife, Alberta, and I went for another beautiful picture-taking, sight-seeing drive on Sept. 26. We drove down Highway 13 to Hamilton, then turned off and drove up the Williams Fork road until we came to Moffat County Road 37. We turned off and drove up to the end of this road, the road only goes a few miles before it comes to a locked gate on private property. I think we located another old coal mine to put on my list of mines. I stopped at the Durham farmhouse and got a little information on the remains of the old mine that is on their property. Mrs. Durham showed me a map her husband compiled. On the map, the mine is shown on property that was at one time owned by the Rollo family. This is enough information that I can add it to the long list of mines I’m compiling.
We continued up the Williams Fork road until we came to the road that goes up the South Fork of Williams Fork.
We drove up the South Fork road to just below the Seeley ranch where the road forks and goes up the mountain to the Sullivan ranch. We turned around there because I’m thinking that is the end of the county road.
It was just a beautiful drive up that far and then back down to the main road. So many different colors in the leaves: red and yellow mostly but so many different shades of those two colors that it’s just indescribably beautiful. The cottonwood trees along the creek are in different stages of turning fall color, the colors ranging from green to yellow and finally the deep golden color of autumn leaves. Naturally, along a streambed like that there are lots of other forms of shrubbery all decked out in their autumn color. Gosh, it’s great to be able to travel the back roads this time of year and be able to see firsthand what Mother Nature is doing with her paintbrush.
Alberta and I have been pigging out on chokecherries and serviceberries almost every time we’ve taken one of the sightseeing trips. It was really a bumper year for berries of all sorts. Gosh, it was almost the first of October. I can’t remember the chokecherries and serviceberries staying on the bushes this late in the season before. I’m glad they were however, because we got a late-season treat.
After completing the South Fork drive, we continued on up the Williams Fork road to where Routt County Road 29 branches off. When Alberta and I bought our place on Conner Drive, we made a lot of trips out on County Road 29 hauling sandstone rock from the cliffs along the road. Our lot is on a hillside, and I’ve done lots of rock work in the process of getting the lot to its present state. We traveled on the road a long ways and finally wound up on Routt County Road 37, which we followed back to Hayden.
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County Road 37 also is known as the Sage Creek Road, and it goes past the old Sage Creek Reservoir site. We couldn’t help but notice that right down where the very bottom of Sage Creek Reservoir once was is now a big barn. The reservoir dam washed out a long time ago. One of our favorite fishing spots was the Sage Creek Reservoir; probably because we could always catch some lunker sized rainbow.
There were a couple of coal mines located on Sage Creek. Along about 1915 there was talk of putting a railroad spur up to the coal mines. The rail line was all surveyed out and everything seemed to be progressing. However, the rail line never got beyond the surveying and paperwork stage. I think that one of the coal mines managed to stay in business until the 1940s.
This was one of those days filled with blue sky and big fluffy white clouds. My kind of sky. A blue sky with fluffy white clouds makes a picture a lot better as far as I’m concerned.