2. Backpacking with Danny…Colorado 8.2007


so the next morning, we slept in again.  the sun was shining brightly this morning so we started our day in the hot springs.  it was great.  but after a long soak, we headed back up to our camp site, made coffee and breakfast, and began to pack up.  we left about 1pm and started the hike out, the same trail we'd hiked in on, but it always looks different going the opposite direction; the views just as beautiful as they were hiking in.


we got back to the trailhead, tired, but feeling wonderful about the places we've been.  the first thing most backpackers think about when approaching the trailhead when packing out is....FOOD.  we were headed to Boogies Diner and 50's style eatery in Aspen with nice outdoor seating.  we really pigged out....Danny had a homemade meatloaf sandwich, I had their special veggie burger, and we shared a chocolate malt, onion rings, french fries and cole slaw.  we had a nice conversation with Sara (while we had cell service...she's headed to Chicago on Friday for a bachalorette party and a long weekend).  it was still light outside when we were done eating, so we drove to see night fall on the Maroon Bells...the most photographed mountains in Colorado and a place that's really special to me.

we spent the night in the parking lot near the Bells; spending some time outside laying on our backs looking at the stars.  the sky was dark, dark blue with the black mountains looming and bright stars EVERYWHERE.  it was so beautiful!  the coolness of the evening in the mountains, finally drove us inside and we both spent some time just reading before retiring for the night.


we awoke early in the morning to another beautiful day.  we took a quick walk down to the lake in front of the "Bells" and took some more photos with the morning light on the mountains.


our destination for the day was going to be an easy day hike.....Hanging Lake.  this is one of the most popular hikes in North America.  this is probably due to the fact that it takes no effort to get to the trailhead....it's about 100' off of I-70, just east of Glenwood Springs.  this hike is less than 3 miles round trip, but 1000' elevation in 1.5 miles.  it was a pretty crowded hike.  I had been up to the lake once before, but this was a first time for Danny.


there are many small falls along the way


 Hanging Lake is really pretty and hard to believe it sits above a major highway

the fish in the lake

 up above the lake, there is another short hike to "Spouting Rock"

you can stand behind the waterfall....kinda neat

after we hiked down, we went back into Glenwood Springs to the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub and ate and sampled several kinds of their beer...it was good.

we drove to Dillon and took a walk down by the lake (it was way to cold to go for a swim) and watched the sailboats enjoying the day. 

but as we drove into town,we noticed there was something going on...it was a BBQ Festival.  so we walked around, people-watched and smelled all the good food smells, and then a band started playing;  "the Railbenders".  they had a great sound and some really interesting lyrics.  everyone was having such a fun time, some were dancing, a lot were drinking, and we all were enjoying the evening.


after we left the festival (we had passed on both the bbq and the beer---it was Budweiser) we drove down the road to Frisco....a really cute little town.  Danny and I went to the Backcountry Brewery for an appetizer and a couple of beers.  then back to the lake where we camped for the night.


the next morning the sun was shining and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful last day for us in Colorado.  we planned to do a short 4 mile "easy"-rated hike. but as usual, our plans changed.  we started on the hike, but where the trail was supposed to end, it just kept on going....and so did we.

when the trail did end, we were in this big "bowl" at the base of several mountains.  we noticed there were a couple of people up on top, so we decided to just keep going...

like little energizer bunnies, we just bushwhacked up the side of the mountain (below) until we'd made it to the top.

these were the views we saw....we stood on top of the mountain and had a 360 degree view of all of these mountains...it was so cool!



we took a break and just admired the views

the photo below is looking back down the valley we hiked through

and then, since we hadn't followed a trail to the top, we had to figure out how to get back to the bottom...it was about 800' down.  Danny found a trail he said was going in the right direction, so we followed it until it ended.  then he said "all we needed to do was go down", so I just followed him...bushwhacking all the way.


once we started descending, we looked back a final time at the mountain we'd climbed and the ridges we hiked.  it had turned out to be much more of a "day-hike" than we'd originally planned, but WOW!, it was really great.


 after the hike, we wobbled our way to the car, headed back to Silverthorne, and had an awesome, long, hot shower.  then back to Denver where we ate at a really yummy pizza place.  about 9pm, after a trip to Starbucks, we headed east on I-70 towards Kansas.

it's been such an awesome trip! 

once again, we have been fortunate enough to spend some wonderful time in the mountains, and see such beauty and magnificent scenery.  this has been even more special because of celebrating Danny's birthday.  thank you again to everyone who "shared" in the celebration and helped to make it such a great memory.

I'm closing this "trip report" with my favorite poem that was shared with me by our dear family friend, Betty Meinke.  Her aunt wrote it many years ago and it expresses my feelings exactly and beautifully.


I was born in a prairie state, where the land is flat and plain.

and the mountains were a dream to me, that I dreamed again and again.

and then I saw the purple haze of Colorado's peaks,

and heard the wordless language a brooding mountain speaks.

I saw the wildflowers growing above the timberline

and snow upon the summits and I made the mountains mine.

I saw the sunlight glancing on streams so crystal clear,

and saw the sudden rainstorms and lightening flashing near.

and now that I am back again in my own state's sandy loam,

I feel myself an exile from the place that should be home.

for no matter where I go now, little wisps of memory,

call me back to Colorado, and it's there that I would be.


our next adventure begin in September…..

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