A Summer Hosting Bristol Head

During the summer of 2004 Barb and I hosted at Colorado’s Bristol Head Campground. The altitude was 10,900 feet. The oxygen was thin and we were two weeks acclimating. Even going to bed was tough, a two-stage operation – one leg up, rest, then the other leg. Every night there was frost.

Bristol Head 001

McBark posing at Bristol Head.

This was the distance to the restroom.

There was no running water, nor was there any electricity. We generated our own electricity with solar panels which provided current for lights, water pump, and our HF amateur radio station. Barb and I are licensed amateur radio operators, and we worked many stations that summer.

We celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary there. A trip to the Creede grocery store provided the necessities for baking our two-layer cake. We were surprised how long it took to bake both layers in our Outback Oven at that altitude – it took all afternoon. But it was fun.


Creede, Colorado.


The cake after an afternoon of baking.

During our stay some Texas ranchers brought 1,100 cattle from Texas to the high range. The head drover – the person who kept count of them – came often to visit with us. And with him came many stories.


Bristol Head is the highest point in the photo.

The one that I recall best is of the two couple of seniors who visited Bristol Head one winter on snowmobiles. While they sat their machines admiring the view from some 12,000+ feet a snow storm began. When they turned to leave Grandma became confused, turned the wrong way and drove over the edge. They weren’t able to recover her remains until the following summer.

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