Forgotten how good a 14er hike feels.  Pre-dawn trailhead drive, first sun pop over the high peak.

Love of everything outdoors, BIG, immense, larger than ourselves.

Hour half on I-70, Exit 221 Bakerville – 8 miles from Eisenhower Tunnel.  Five mile dirt-road journey.  Struggled to maneuver the pothole minefield UP, secure off-road parking.  Not a lotta spots left at 630am, gotta love Colorado hikers.  Day starts early here 🙂

I last hiked Grays in September 2012.  Trail was lined with yellow aspens and first snow of the season.

Hiking a month earlier in mid-August, today’s views did not disappoint.  So much colour – like a Ravensburger puzzle, one of those 1000 piece projects you poke over during the summer.  Not just one shade of green – slate green, moss, lime, yellow-green, forest.

Looked forward to the horizon.  Stopped, peered back at my progress below – completing the straight puzzle edges first, framing a border, later patch-working the green inside.  Two long stretches of boulder incline, but no huge scramble at the end.

Summit SUCCESS!  Strong winds whipped so backed behind a man-made rock shelter.  Chatted up fellow hikers planning their next ascents – before the snow flies (just a few weeks left).  Parade of folks on top at 9am.

Fave quote:  “I like your dog.  He’s so warm.”  LOL>

Return hike always seems longer than the ascent – a hiker mystery.  Purposely drove West thru the Eisenhower tunnel, crossed the Continental Divide & lunched in Silverthorne before heading home (a 3 hour I-70 day mare – ARGH!)

Next 14er?  Something near Leadville I think.

Haven’t been to the Nat’l Mining Hall of Fame & Museum.  [ya’ll are thinkin’]  How can I get a ticket, right?  🙂

 

Snow UPDATE, Wed August 19th:  Colorado weather: Snow dusts high country, Denver sets record low

 

Grays Peak summit

 

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