We said goodbye to our hosts and drove east and south, the road clinging to the slope overlooking the Black Canyon of the Gunnison:
Dams along the Gunnison River have filled the canyon with reservoirs:
The Blue Mesa Dam:
We stopped at the visitor center for Curecanti National Recreation Area. We had previously received the Junior Ranger badge when we visited Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on Day 649, and this visitor center is really just a contact station for issuing boating permits, so we just stayed long enough to channel our inner NPS ranger:
We drove south, steadily climbing until we reached Lake City, Colorado, a town of 400 at 8,600 feet above sea level. From there, we drove west on what soon became a narrow gravel road with steep drop-offs. We unhitched the RV in a pullout that was barely large enough, then drove up to find a pullout large enough to accommodate us. M stayed behind to hold the spot while we recovered the RV and brought it back up.