2. Summer in the Mountains of Colorado…June, July, & August, 2022

Day 8 6.29
I started the morning in town at their sweet little free library.  I’d picked a new book up at one when I was in Orlando with Claire & Emma & was happy to return it to another one although about 1500 miles away.

I drove north out of town just a bit to Woods Walk…a popular walk through the Aspens with both locals & visitors.  The trail was lined with tons of gorgeous Columbine.

The trail connects to Lower Loop then to Upper Lower Loop for about a 8.5 miles total.  Its a sweet hike!

Mining stuff left from the long ago Peanut Mine.

Views of both Slate River & Mt. Crested Butte.

Pretty white Columbine.

I headed to the laundromat after my hike, then back to camp to sun dry my clean clothes.  The ‘neighborhood’ (as Danny & I refer to the ever changing camp group on my ridge) had switched out.  By evening there was a Mother/Daughter duo, both in their own campers parked across from each other.  The Mom had a dog & a kitten & the daughter had two cats.  Then there was an older van parked next to them with a woman named Forest who also had a cat.  So, far the neighborhood consisted of one Airstream, which no one had been at for days (it was illegally holding a site), 4 women, 4 cats & 1 dog….Yay!!  I thought that was pretty cool.  And I loved seeing & petting the kitties…I miss my own so much!  We all introduced ourselves.  Later that evening, Forest came over with her hoop & showed me some awesome moves & tricks until it was dark.  Then, I headed to bed.

Day 9 6.30
Big stormy day today.  I drove in to Gunnison to run some errands (grocery store, gas) & to hit up the couple of gear shops I like to check out.

Once making it back to CB, everytime I’d start to go for a hike, the storm would rear up again with rain, thunder & lightening.

So, I went to Bonez for a Margarita & queso.  The storms continued all through the day & night…lots of rain; not a lot of excitement.

Day 10 7.1
It was a gorgeous morning with no storm in sight.  I enjoyed my coffee then drove up to the top of Gothic road to the Snodgrass trailhead.  I was combining two trails today…Teddys…which is either a short hiker loop or a longer horse trail loop & the Meander trail which begins across the road.  I had never hiked the horse trail, so that’s what I did.

Teddys trail always has a great display of wildflowers early.  It’s an awesome trail for those who just want to hike a short distance to see some spectacular flowers.

Horse trails are always muddy, even without the big rain we had yesterday, so I came off the trail kind of messy.  But, that just matched the rest of me…camping, the way I do, isn’t for the faint of heart or the picky or the prissy.  It was a great trail!

The Meander trail is gentle & has amazing views above the East River Valley.  I love these views & really want to explore way up in those red mountains.  There’s a trail I hike over that way, at the base of those red mountains, but I’ve never found a trail that winds up into & beyond them.  I’m sure someone has hiked there & I would love to sit & chat with them about it!

Gothic mountain with a puff of cloud rolling by.

After my hike, I went back to camp, took a shower (with my cool little USB portable shower) & enjoyed afternoon tea.  I’d planned to go back into town, but changed my mind.  Someone finally showed up at the airstream & have a good camp dog with them named Sherpa.  So, I’m sitting here in my chair just staring out over the meadow…as is Sherpa, only he’s not in a chair.  He’s content to just sit & stare out over the field of flowers & the sometimes chaos of all the RV’s & vans at the sites below us.  I finally tucked in as the night sky grew dark, read awhile, then lights out.

Day 11 7.2
Today I hiked the Caves trail or its also called the Walrod loop.  Its a ton of switchbacks all at the beginning of the trail, then big views along side the mountain on top.

Some pretty flowers along the trail too.

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Then I went back to camp, while it rained again this afternoon.  I have another new book to read…one that I’ve been waiting for to be released.  So, somedays, it’s nice to have the rain (it’s almost always good for the mountains) to just chill out & read.

One of my friends, Sherry (of Ottsworld…you should check out her IG & her website…she does some amazing travel!) was coming to CB today to enjoy the 4th of July festivities & to do some hiking.  She had three friends with her & we were all meeting up for drinks this evening.

Dogwood Cabin for cocktails…such a cool atmosphere & unusual yummy drinks.

What a fun evening getting to know Sherry’s friends & catching up with her.  

Back at camp it was Rainbow time!  There are more rainbows (& double rainbows) here than anywhere else I’ve ever been.  It always makes me think that instead of a pot of gold at the end, it’s Crested Butte!

Day 12 7.3
No solo hiking today….I am meeting Sherry & her friends out at the Dykes trail to hike.  Kim & Lisa were hiking to the viewpoint; but Amelia, Sherry & I were doing the whole loop.  It’s kind of a tough hike….tons of elevation, but I’ve hiked this before with Sherry & she wanted to do it again & I was happy to be hiking with friends!

The view point.  We all took lots of photos & enjoyed the incredible views over these Aspen forests.

Sherry loving this viewpoint!

Happy hikers! (pic from Sherry)


But…then the weather started getting sketchy.  Kim had already gone back to the car, but Lisa turned around at the viewpoint.  The three of us continued on, breathing hard, taking in the views & elevation gain, but with eyes to the skies watching the weather.

Then the storm hit.  You’re not super exposed high up on any ridges or anything on this trail, but there are points along the trail where there’s no cover.  We also had a stream to cross.  We started hearing thunder, then lightning flash above us.  We did all the right things & got lucky.  We ended up under a huge tree taking cover as it rained & spit out tiny bits of hail at us & continued to boom & sparkle in the dark sky.  But, then as most mountain storms do, it stopped after about 20 minutes, the sun popped out & it was over.  

It’s rare there’s any photos of me during my time in the mountains…Danny will snap a few when he’s here, but that’s about it.  So, the next photos you see are all courtesy of Sherry!

Me sitting on the ground waiting the storm out. 


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Amelia wasn’t feeling very good though by the end of the hike.  She thought it was the altitude.  So, once back in town, I dropped them off at their AirBNB.  I decided to stay in town & tried a new burger place some locals told me about called SLAP burger…they’re really pretty good & so are their fries.  They are sort of attached to Kochevars…the oldest saloon in CB.  So, I ordered a whiskey sour there….it was HORRIBLE.  I had three sips & left.  Yuck!

Sherry invited me over to their place for dinner & it was fantastic!  Plus so much fun to get to know Kim & Lisa better & hear all about Sherry’s upcoming travels…wow!  She’s got some great stuff planned.  (Amelia was still feeling sick, so she was tucked away in her room all night.)

What a fun day …except for the big storm…so great to get to meet new interesting & fun people!

Day 13 7.4
We were all meeting up for the big, fun, outrageous, happy 4th of July Parade.  We started off at Pita’s in Paradise….here’s Sherry at their Bloody Mary Bar.

Sherry snapped this photo of the three of us (Amelia stayed back at the BNB…she is still not feeling great.)

The Parade…love this quirky celebration!

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And the super fun water gun fight at the end of the parade between the fire department & everyone else!

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Hey!  There’s my friend Shawn!  former owner of the Last Steep.  Since he recently sold the restaurant, he’s got time to come out & play now!  Way to go Shawn…start enjoying life!

We ended up going to the Talk of the Town for a drink & some more celebration & conversation.

It was Monday night so we went to the free concert in the park.  It started to rain a little & I decided I was done for the day.  I said my goodbyes & headed back to camp.  It had been so much fun to hang out with Sherry & her friends.  As it turned out, Amelia, who probably did have some altitude sickness, tested positive for Covid after she returned to Seattle.  

Beautiful night sky over Mt. Crested Butte!

Looking up on the ridge above camp.

Day 14 7.5
Right down the road from camp, is a trail called Snodgrass.  You can also access it from the top of Gothic road.  It’s a big mountain bike trail but also one that the Visitors Center sends a ton of people to.  So, I had a short drive to the trailhead & started my hike.

It does have some pretty views, but the trail is mostly in a beautiful Aspen forest.

It started raining so I turned around & headed back the way I’d hiked.  I went to the 4way (I spend a lot of time there it seems…) & ran into another friend of mine, Susan.  We made plans to meet up tonight.  She’s taking me to a new-to-me river bar down in Gunnison.  Super excited.  I ran my ice/water errands & grabbed a slice of pizza from the Stash for lunch.  

Then I got a text from Rose…the mother of Luke’s godsons—Henry & Arlo.  Luke was best friends with Adi, their Dad, who died a few years ago.  She & the boys, her boyfriend & his kids, were arriving in CB later that evening.  WOW!  I’m so excited to see her!  And those sons of hers are super fun!

Another storm brewing….so our river bar plans got cancelled. Boo Hoo!

Day 15 7.6
More storms called for today, so I was staying close to town & in the forest.  Mountain storms come quick & are super unpredictable.  Baxter Gulch trailhead is just south of town…barely.  It’s a fairly new trail, just in the past few years.  It gets your lungs going though right at the beginning as your make your way up switchbacks to the side of the mountain.

The flowers are popping out everywhere now with all the rain & then sunshine!

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Crazy tree or a survivor?

This hike takes you around to the base of Whetstone Mountain.

After my hike I got a slice of pizza then went back to camp to finish my new book.

It’s Wednesday night, so it’s Music on the Mountain.  Unfortunately, this band only got in 4 songs before it was called off due to lightning.  But, I had already bought my dinner…a hot dog from Logan & his hot dog cart.  I tried his Serrano & Maple Syrup dog…think I’ll just stick with mustard, relish & ketchup in the future.

Rose & everyone are staying at the hotel on the mountain, & we’d intended to watch the concert together, but instead, we met up in a downpour outside.  They were heading into the hotel for dinner & invited me, but I’d already had my special dog.  I decided to join them anyway.  They all chowed down & I enjoyed a really good whiskey sour (so far, this is the only place in town that makes good ones…except for mine at camp & they’re delicious!)

Sharing a drink & great conversation with Rose, Brian & their kids!

Then I drove back to my teeny tiny camper for the night.

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