September 21, 2013

Continued up Hwy. 550 into Colorado to Durango and through Molas Pass. When we got to Molas Lake, we called it a day and camped the second night at Molas Lake Campground. This is a beautiful area with campsites isolated enough to make you feel like you are the only ones there. Since the camping season was over, we were able to camp for free, but found out later there was still a price to pay for camping free.

And that price was…. NOISE… and a lot of it.

There was a sign at the entrance that indicated noise would not be tolerated but since there was no campground attendant, one large group of people simply ignored the rule and partied most of the night. And when I say “partied,” I mean PARTIED. Boomboxes cranked up to max volume. Fireworks going off. Rockets shooting into the sky and exploding. Over. And over. And over.

That amount of noise must have bounced around the mountains and traveled for miles. There was no way to get any sleep while that was going on. And they kept at it until almost midnight when a storm moved through and rained them into silence. Did the silence last? Oh, no. It stopped raining around 3 am and all the noise started up again — ALL OF IT — and they went at it until it started raining and storming again around 5 am.

I’d have to rate that as the worst camping experience I’ve ever had in my life. Made me want to avoid public campgrounds during the off-season, and even public campgrounds during the season unless there was an on-site attendant who carried a bazooka around to enforce the rules. Come to think of it… it’s a good thing I didn’t have access to a bazooka that night!! πŸ˜‰

With that early morning storm, the boombox noise was replaced by the noise of thunder and lightning. At an elevation of 10,600 feet, we were right in the belly of the beast, up there in the clouds where all the thunder and lightning was going on. Mother Nature was throwing a major tantrum and she was unbelievably intense. And I mean LOUD. Sounded like lightning was striking right outside the tent. We picked our campsite with lightning in mind, so we weren’t exposed, but I was still keeping my fingers crossed that a random strike wouldn’t barbeque us. That storm dropped the first snow in the upper elevations as you can see in the last few pics taken the following morning on our way out.

Click the first image to start the manual slide show: