Indian Peaks

After last month’s Herman Lake hike on the CDT (Continental Divide Trail), went back to Ash for other hike destinations I may have overlooked.  She gave me two: Jasper Lake (Indian Peaks Wilderness) & Whale Peak (off US 285, on the Divide past Gibson Lake).

Next 3 weeks: 2 Colorado hikes, one East Coast marathon.  Work hard, play hard.  B-I-G life, no regrets.

Late start – 6am Saturday wake-up.  In Colorado, that means ‘no trailhead parking’.  Circled back 15 minutes into Nederland & boarded the town’s FREE trailhead shuttle service.  Me AND my pup.  Yep, that happens in Colorado too.  Dog-friendliest state of our 50 ❤

Light rain in Boulder, light SNOW in Nederland.  Mix of precip, sun darted in & out all day.

First FALL hike of the season, Aspens were a poppin’.  Bright Aspen YELLOW.  8.8 miles roundtrip per ProTrails.  Ash quoted 10 – Strava would prove her right (shuttle drop-off to Lake & trail return: 10.4 miles).

Ro now off-leash; pup on ‘squirrel’ patrol.  Ran wild thru open meadows.

Woodland Lake.  Diamond Lake.  Stayed RIGHT at both forks.  Third & last trail juncture, went against the grain & trekked LEFT.  No getting’ lost this day.  Perrrrfect directions.  (Thanks Ash.)

Arrived Jasper Lake 11am.  Gray skies & snow spit.  Didn’t stop Ro from taking a quick dip.  Brrr.

Reality, this alpine ‘lake’ was a reservoir – being drained in anticipation of next season’s snow-melt.  Heavy winter mountain snow = plenty of downstream water all summer long.  Front Range Coloradans generally lucky that way.

Today’s hike destination not the sexiest lake…but the journey itself – FAAANNNNTASTIC!  Still early – stay or go-go?  Option A: mile to Devils Thumb Lake, mile further to Devils Thumb Pass.  Option B: bowl of warm chili in Ned.  Ya’ll know how this story ends 🙂

Followed by late afternoon take-n-bake pizza.  Followed by a double-scoop of PB&J at Sweet Cow.

Maybe should’ve hiked the extra couple miles, huh?  LOL>

 

 

 

 

A sudden and unexpected snowstorm hit Boulder on Tuesday, dumping nearly a foot of snow on the city, mucking up traffic and prompting school closures across the county.

 

The city of Boulder officially recorded 11.3 inches of snow for the duration of the storm…and brings the total snowfall in Boulder during December this year to 14 inches.

 

Running season over, marathon count holiday-stalled at 49: 2013 (2), 2014 (15), 2015 (32).  Long year, lotta travel.

Plans for my first weekend off?  Snowshoe hike, nothing like a snow day 🙂  BIG SNOW four days prior – good reason for my first trailhead adventure with the Jeep.  Whole lotta sunshine, gonna be a great day for a December shoe-hike.

Loaded up Ro & headed west thru Boulder Canyon to Nederland, center-town right, 5 minutes+ past Eldora Ski Resort – kicked into 4WD & plowed UP County Road 130 to Hessie Trailhead.  No stopping ‘til we reached the ranger road closure 2 miles down.

Today’s hike destination: Lost Lake, a 3.6-mile out & back trail.

Super easy summer hike, ridiculously crowded camping.  Add a couple feet of snow?  Just ‘bout perfect.  My shoes are older…probably due for a new pair – but Ro doesn’t care.  Off leash & snow, combo my dog lives for.

Surrounded by pine & heavy snow – slight elevation climb 9,000 to 9,800ft – reached Lost Lake in just over an hour.  Highlight: listening to the popping, cracking ice – water moving under the lake surface, heating/shifting in the high altitude sun.  Twice Ro spooked, barked, charged his invisible predator.  LAKE MONSTER!!  LOL>

Tick, tick, tick…only 6 days ’til Christmas.  Nothing like a snow hike to get ya in the mood 🙂

 

 

Spent last weekend with Sis & family, Cheyenne rodeo yesterday, marathoning in San Francisco next weekend – should really be training but it’s summer….sooooo headed to the mountains for a high altitude hike.  Good for the head, good for the soul 🙂

Up early & on the road with my friend Cliff & his dog Pita – today’s destination: Lake Dorothy on the Continental Divide (just west of Nederland).  Was last here in 2012 during my 52-week hike challenge.  Forgot what an adventure it is to reach Fourth of July trailhead – 5 miles of dirt, dodging boulders & potholes in a Prius.  Mental note: 2016 might be the Year of the Truck.

Cool temps & rain in the forecast – typical high mountain forecast – packed extra layers, wore a cap & running gloves.  It’s July, right? 🙂

Mile up Arapaho Pass trail, another mile on Arapaho Glacier trail, then a mile-half to Caribou Pass.  Wildflowers & pine, glacier views & snowed-in mountain peaks.  Crossed over glacier-fed waterfalls; hiked thru marshy tundra – initially hopping stone-to-stone to keep the feet dry.  Eventually gave into the experience – all part of being outdoors.  Lost tree-line just over 12,000ft.

Re-energized with half a Luna bar & soaked it all in.  Beautiful hike.  Clouds enveloped my landscape surroundings; light rain on the hike return.  Nowhere else on Earth I feel more alive & plugged-in.  I’ll never leave Colorado.

 

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