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The Californian

Letters from Ann Bowling, September 30, 2009




One fall day my husband, Dewey, and I decided to drive up Cinnamon Pass to enjoy the autumn scenery.


We had driven quite a way when we saw a man walking down the road toward town carrying some large heavy packages. We stopped to inquire and found that he was a photographer from California who, trying to get to Montrose to visit his son had taken the “short cut” over Cinnamon. He had made it to the top, but had become mired in the snow and mud and could not drive out. He carried all the equipment he could and left the rest in his SUV on the mountain.


We loaded him and his equipment into the car and turned back toward Lake City.


Dewey made him coffee as he was very cold and I started trying to find some help for him.


First I tried Weem’s gas station, but his wrecker was in the shop in Montrose. Mr. Jacobs at the other station could not help. Jerry and Elaine Gray lived at that time above the Black Crooke. His jeep was out of commission and his winch broken. I was sent to Mr Wilcox who was working that day on a large machine moving rocks near the Country Store.


When I called to him he couldn’t hear me for the noise, but he shut down his machine to talk to me. When I told him the problem he said he would get some help and come by the house.


And he did. Although it was beginning to snow they came by and the three of them started up Cinnamon.


When they arrived at the top of the pass and tried to move the car they found he had burned up the transmission trying to get out. They all came back with as much photography equipment as they could carry.


The next morning, in the snow, with chains and winch, they brought that car down Cinnamon Pass! How they managed it I will never know. We all drunk hot chocolate and celebrated. When asked the charge they just laughed and said “no charge”.


The photographer stayed several days with us until his son could come from Montrose and tow him away. I still receive Christmas Cards from him.


What marvelous folks we have here in Lake City!