Sunday, September 24, 2023

A Sunday Drive with Martha to Penitente Canyon

Saturday, September 23

I spent the morning pulling maintenance on my TW200 and the VRRV.  I will need to buy some power steering fluid for the VRRV soon.

I found Yagi's intake and exhaust valves out of spec by 0.001 in each, so I tightened them to 0.003 and 0.005 respectively.

Now for the good stuff, Sunday, September 24

The day augured well with a nice sunrise:

Martha joined me at the campsite at 12:30 PM, having driven her Honda CR-V down from the cesspool that is the Metro Denver area.

After a quick lunch, we went on a Sunday drive in the CR-V to check out a couple of BLM camping sites on the western side of the San Luis Valley.  This valley is where the Great Sand Dunes NP and the San Luis Lakes SWA are located, a rather large flat valley that sits on top of a huge aquifer.

First we checked out Elephant Rocks to the north of the town of Del Norte, not bad sites but a bit sloping.

We then went to the Penitente Canyon Campground and saw their sites (not bad, but too much hiker traffic) and then did a bit of hiking of one of the several trails in this canyon.

Penitente Canyon is apparently popular with rock climbers.
It hosts a Climber Fest Oct 13-14 if I remember correctly.

You may have noticed what appears to be a painted figure in the last pic.  We at first thought it was graffiti someone had painted on a while back.  It was quite faded but it looked liked a depiction of the Virgin Mary to us.

Turns out, it was a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe an information plaque at the trailhead parking lot read:

Penitente Canyon takes its name from men of Spanish heritage and deep religious faith, Los Hermanos Penitentes.  The Penitentes were part of the Hispanic Community that settled in what is now Southern Colorado in the mid-19th century.  It's said that in the mid-20th century a few men from the local community painted the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe that's still visible today.  The words above the Virgin read "Consuelo y Espiritu" or "Comfort and Spirit".

Some post-processing done to try and bring out details

We didn't hike for long, and once back in the car we headed back towards the campsite.  

We did however, make a brief stop at a small church we saw along the way.

The church itself was closed.  Only opened on special occasions so no inside pictures.

After this, it was a 40 minute drive back to camp and a steak dinner prepared by Martha.  Martha will be camping with me for the next three nights or so.


CCjon said...

Amazing the Virgen of Guadalupe shows up everywhere the Mexican explorers and missionaries went.
Glad that Martha has joined you in hiking, at least for a few days. Hope you have good weather.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks CCjon, though she'll return home soon, I'll be too by next week. But soon enough we'll be on the road together for a longer trip.