Surprise 14er summit (seriously).

Enjoyed a lazy Norman Rockwell-esqe 4th.  Ro swam for almost 2 hours at Community Park, then watched both volley- and bocce ball while children played in nearby water fountains.  No fireworks in Colorado this year because of the fires, so celebrated our nation’s birthday ‘small town’ style.

Tough getting hike-motivated when you’re down physically somedays — but pushed myself outside with a 14er goal.  Drove an hour half to Bakerville exit off I-70 this side of the Divide, Gray’s Peak our day target.  First a right off the exit – nope, then left onto a bike path – bigger nope, straight ahead on a dirt road was the correct destination. Hmm.  Can’t say my Prius was road ready so backed down the single-lane logging road for a quarter-mile, parked the hybrid, applied sun block and banged out remaining 1.4 miles to the trailhead.

Upon our trailhead approach, Ro pulled hard toward a fast-running stream — great time for a water break.  Afternoon showers forecasted in the mountains so started at a fast pace this day.  Switchbacks through a willow thicket until we reached tree line. Thicket reminiscent of Bierstadt — brought home a yellow jacket ‘badge’ this day. Ouch…but preferred to last weekend’s biting flies, joys of mountain summer 🙁

4 weeks of temps 90-degrees plus so I forgot/failed to pack a fleece.  Wind off the mountain chilled — my tee offering little resistance. Ro? LOVES the cool temps – ok, so do I 🙂  After a series of switchbacks we reached our first rock incline, where we meet a fellow hiker…and a goat. Clarified directions after last weekend’s mishap — right at the junction.

No one on the hike after junction – hmmm – but it’s a Thursday (had a furlough day off from work). Had been warned of a ‘false’ summit so kept mentally motivated, took air/oxygen breaks, popped frequent lozenges, and pushed UP.  We stumble across the summit log — summited already?  Opened the canister and it reads ‘Torrey’s Peak’.  Typical of my recent directional mishaps — we summited the wrong 14er peak!  

(NOTE: Stopping for directions is not always the answer.)

No thunderstorms but sky greying up fast.  Quick lunch break and return loop focus.  Zero time to soak in our local surroundings this day. 10 minutes of cold rain mixed with sleet dampened spirits — Sno Ro also objecting to the precip with exaggerated shake-outs.  Lover of glacier snow and mountain rivers, but rain?  Not so much.  Sun warms our next miles back to the trailhead start. One last brief shower (only rain this elevation) and ready ourselves for the drive home.

Following morning?  Ro’s still sleeping and my energy level is back on the rise.  

14ers — a potential medical cure for bronchitis (WebMD that 🙂 ).          

 



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