Silverton's 4x4 Roads
Lake Como - Poughkeepsie Gulch
From atop California Pass, beautiful Lake Como seemed just a short
distance away, and incredibly tempting. But, to reach the water's
edge, it's necessary to drive the narrow and dangerous Poughkeepsie
I read the ominous road sign and decided it didn't apply to me, since I
was an experienced driver (although never before on roads like these!).
So, I started down the road, with the simple goal of reaching the lake,
then turning around.
Poughkeepsie was indeed rougher than any other road I had traveled that
day, or on this entire trip. It was steep, with bare rock jutting
into my tires. It was nothing I couldn't handle, but still, I had to
drive slow and remain focused.
Then, I reached a big problem: a small washout. I carefully
tried to creep my way across, but when I felt my left front tire sink
into the ditch, and my right rear tire leave the road completely, I knew
I was in trouble. I slowly backed out, then set the emergency
brake and stepped out of the car. The ditch was too deep to drive
across, and turning around (or backing up) was out of the question.
So, I decided to rebuild the road. Using nearby rocks, I filled in
the ditch, creating a path just wide enough for my tires. Then, I
drove slowly over the bridge I had built, making 2 or 3 attempts in
order to hit it just right.
So was all this effort worth it? You tell me.
There are several good places to park near the edge of the lake.
Lake Como's water is perfectly clear in shallow areas, and in the deeper
areas, it's a brilliant green-blue. As you might expect, the water
is bitterly cold, even in the summer, since it's mostly melting snow
that fills the lake.
With slightly less wind, I would have captured a great reflection here.
Since this area is above timberline, there are no trees, but the alpine
tundra does spring to life in the summer. August is a great time
to find wildflowers blooming.
After taking in the quiet scenery for a while, I headed back up to the
intersection (once again making it safely across my makeshift miniature
bridge), then back-tracked my way to Silverton.
Be careful if you search the internet for more
information on Lake Como. It's likely you'll find
something completely different, since the lake shares its name
with one in Pasco County, Florida, which is home to a
clothing-optional resort. Also, there's another Lake Como
in Colorado, near the town of Alamosa.
Feature: Read More About My Trip Over Silverton's 4wd Roads
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