After 3 days of fly fishing over the July 4th weekend, we decided to do two rides in one day. The first leg was (again) a spectacular ride through the mountains as rode 42 miles from Creede along the Rio Grande river to Del Norte. We then followed the Rio Grande river and rode from Del Norte to Alamosa. That ride was 31 miles—giving us a total of 73 miles for the day.
What made the ride really special was that Bryan had his grandfather, Deane Warnecke, join him and his father Steve for a few days. Three generations of Warnecke men out for adventure! It doesn't get any better that that!
The story begins at Antlers Ranch, where Team Warnecke (as Team Pink Lightning was breifly renamed) made it's headquarters. A "Texas Girl" showed them great hospitality for the night— and soon after daybreak they were out and on the road. The Rio Grande National forest was beautiful on another sunny Colorado day. Grandpa Deane was the Sag Wagon ("Sagging" behind the riders) driver, ride photographer and chief enthusiast for the day, while Bryan and Steve rode hard and soon accomplished the days goal.
Now for some sightseeing—and of course, more fly fishing! The first stop was the 17-mile Bachelor Historic Loop—which climbs high into the hills above town, through Creede’s historic silver mining district and ghost towns. The tour’s interpretive stop is just north of Creede in Willow Creek Canyon at the juncture of East and West Willow creeks.
The Sag Wagon did a magnificent job traverseing the old, graded road to the Equity Mine. It’s a 2WD drive road, and open year round, but in winter it’s often snowed in. The start is the most technical part, with a steep climb. After checking out the sixteen official sites on the auto tour, our intrepid crew returned to Creede via Bachelor Road and the old town site of Bachelor.
Soon after, the waders, leaders, flies, rods & reels broke out as Steve and Bryan tried their luck in the headwaters of the Rio Grande. On the bank, Grandpa Deane cheered them on with his encyclopedic knowledge of fishing—but alas, no fish. Fun was had by all, though. It was a great time for the "Warnecke Men", and a much needed break before the final week of rides and the penultimate event—the Courage Classic on July 19-21.