How time FLIES when you are....working.
I've gotten a bit behind...maybe more than a bit....I hope to remedy that. We left off last time with a solid thunderstorm rolling into camp.
Post-storm morning chores. It was definitely more bark than bite! The best kind of storm when hiking.
Looking down the valley as the sun peeks over the ridge. Quite the contrast from 12 hours earlier.
Headed up through a gorgeous valley. The air was chilly and felt great!
Cruising into the sunshine.
Split rail running through the trees.
Another shot back through the valley....dirt road meandering through.
Moving into the full sun. I was happy for my long sleeves and had. Nothing feels worse than lathering sunscreen onto an already-grimy body.....so I opted for the sun clothing. It was definitely the right choice for me.
Red flowers. I'm sure they have an official name......probably 'red flowers.'
Camp Four in yet another beautiful valley! It was nice to get out in the open sun though it was pretty hot. Jacob and I hid out in the shade of the scrub bushes until the sun dipped below the ridge.
Sunset on the far side of the valley.
Happy boy at the end of the day! I always enjoy the evening downtime in the tent.....a time to just lay and relax for a bit.
Look at all those bears!
Jacob leading the charge.
One of many gorgeous aspen groves we had the fortune to stroll through. They're such a treat every time.
Kenosha Pass! We needed to resupply so it was hitchhiking time. I've hitched a ton in my time along the Appalachian Trail and I'm pleased to say that the experience in Colorado was great! We secured a ride into town within 15 minutes of thumbing....and got back out of town in under five!
These had pizza, but not for long.
Post-pizza...pre-grocery evaluation of our stock. Three rules of resupply runs....
1. DO NOT go into the store hungry (trail hunger and life hunger are very disproportionate) unless you enjoy a wickedly heavy backpack coming out of town
2. DO plan ahead so you can repackage your resupply in a hiking-conducive manner
3. Buy a piece of fresh fruit! Eat that mofo while you're out in front of the store reloading your pack.
Work smarter...I wished the cart would fit on the trail.
I always recommend asking the store employees if it is okay to bring gear inside. Some places don't like you to (which I desperately don't like....not a fan of being separated from my pack....but I understand and respect it if that's the policy). It is polite and helps build a positive rapport between hikers and businesses. It may come as a surprise.....but some places aren't terribly fond of furiously rank backpacks being toted throughout their shops. Yum.
A town run calls for beer. How convenient that the grocery store had a brewery right next door.
I love you.
I spy with my little eye.
We watched this storm roll into Fairplay and dump buckets of desperately- needed rain onto the Colorado landscape.
Guernsey Creek Campsite - we shared this gorgeous meadow with two dudes from Mexico who had flown up to bikepack the CT. Bikepacking is like backpacking, except you're on a mountain bike. The Colorado Trail is a prime location and draws a number of enthusiasts. It's not something I've tried yet, though I'd like to! I'm a cyclist and mountain biker as well so I think it would be a fun trip. Plus I have much of the lightweight gear already.
Another shot of our camp at Guernsey Creek. We were tucked into the aspens on the edge of the meadow. There were a lot of flies here, but thankfully the mosquitos weren't much of a nuisance.
Yellows near the Guernsey Creek campsite.
Moving along. It was an unusually dry summer in the Rockies so coming across a stream with such a great flow was a real treat.
Great views of Mt. Guyot as we approached Georgia Pass.
Flower pic for my mom.
Jacob and I in the meadow near Georgia Pass. We had been leapfrogging a nice family and we traded photography duty here while they were stopped for a break. It was a gorgeous day to hike in the Rockies!
Mt. Guyot - 13,370 feet. The CT doesn't go up to the summit, but we enjoyed the views of the peak under the bright blue sky for much of the day.
Georgia Pass - 11,598 feet
Endless views as we rounded the bend at Georgia Pass. I finally had to force myself to stop taking pics and just hike.
Sharing a portion of the trail with the Continental Divide Trail. That.....is pretty sweet!
You just walked through it bro.
Drying out the leftover condensation from the tent fly at lunch. Though the humidity is very low, the cool overnight temps create enough moisture to warrant spreading out in the sunshine.
Another mountain stream tumbling over fallen logs. Clean and clear.
This is a thing that happened. Everyone in camp got a solid laugh out of it!
Camp at North Fork Swan Road. There were quite a few folks here tonight but there was plenty of space for everyone to spread out. We had a great time eating dinner together and chatting about the trail, food, and life. All the good vibes.
Crew. We had a fun night camping out with these diverse folks! Can you spot the bear-bag photobomb?
Pretty big tracks here! Maybe elk?
More purple lovelies.
The signage on the CT was so superb.
Descending into Breckenridge
Jacob leading the charge as we approach town.
Looking down over the outskirts of Breckenridge. There were some storm clouds building off towards the west so we stayed conscious of the weather and hoped to dodge the rain before we got into town.
Two dirty dogs! We got to the highway before noon and caught the bus into town to get my pickup.
Home sweet Toyota! I always prefer to hike TO the vehicle rather than from it on a long-distance hike. This adds a great element of flexibility to the hike since you aren't scrambling to meet someone for a ride....which is can be complicated by poor cell service, weather delays, or physical hiccups along the way.
Post-hike rewards! Broken Compass had some tasty brews which we made short work of. There were also lots of dogs in the brewery....bringing joy....and masking the scent of two whipped hikers. Remember I'd mentioned storm clouds? The skies cut loose while we were inside the brewery. Perfect timing if you ask me.
After heading back into the Denver metro and chiseling off the layers of trail funk, it was time to celebrate the hike with more beer! Golden City Brewery is one I've visited a couple times before and been quite pleased. It is very quaint.....based in an old house tucked into a quiet neighborhood near Clear Creek. It is Golden's "second largest brewery." I love that marketing.....because the largest brewery in Golden....is Coors. Ha! (GCB definitely gets the gold medal for beer though!)
Enjoying the sunshine at GCB.
Meeting the Yeti at Great Divide Brewing Company. So many tasty beers here.
Finally we landed at Black Project for some excellent sours to round out the trip.
The first leg of the Colorado Trail was definitely enjoyable! I look forward to picking back up at Breckenridge and cruising through the Rockies again soon!
As always....let me know if you have any questions about anything outdoors....hiking or otherwise! Always down to chat.