After coming out onto the pavement at the Lottis Creek Campground, we were back in traffic as we followed Taylor River north through Taylor Canyon. It was absolutely gorgeous, with wet roads and people fishing. When we got to the reservoir we found a spur that took us all the way down to the water's edge. How often do you get to drive next to a lake? It was one of the day's highlights, so we hung out for a bit before heading over to Cottonwood Pass.
It wasn't muddy near the reservoir, but many vehicles were covered in mud. The reason for that became apparent as we headed toward Cottonwood Pass. The road was a mess, with mud more than an inch deep in places. It was slick and sloppy, and there was a lot of traffic in both directions.
As we climbed higher in elevation, the sloppy mud turned into frozen mud. It seemed to make things easier to drive but probably a bit more dangerous. We took it easy through the switchbacks and found our way to the pass. It was snowing and 25 degrees there, so we didn't get out. Winter is coming.
Then the frozen mud turned to icy pavement as we started down. That's never fun, so we went very slowly. A rental Jeep got in the middle of our group and stayed with us to Buena Vista. Luckily, the ice turned to water soon after the pass and then it was just sloppy to the end.
The drive along Cottonwood Creek is always pretty, but the conditions seemed to make things even prettier. When we got to Buena Vista we stopped for dinner at Quincy's and it was as busy as it always is. Though the meal was good we decided that the Leadville location is much better and our favorite. With so many other options in Buena Vista, we could skip this one next time.
We were back at the KOA and we had firewood, but everyone was tired and cold after our day. We didn't even start a fire, so we were off to bed fairly early. Though the snow made things a little dicey in spots, the day was pretty awesome.