5. Hike, bike & beer…Colorado 8.2013

Day FIVE - Wednesday

There was an 80% chance of rain & storms today, so we woke up checking out the sky.  It was as gray as could be & a dampness hung in the air...& on most of our stuff.  Our legs were a little sore from yesterday’s hike, so we were slow moving on all accounts.

As I was looking for our morning “Elk visit”, the morning fog/mist moved over the site.  While it doesn’t make for a great hiking forecast, it’s pretty cool to see.

 As we sat drinking our coffee, wondering if we were going to get dumped on, we talked about leaving (BOO HOOO!)  The forecast for tomorrow is rain, as well, but not 80%.  Neither one of us wanted to go, but didn’t want to waste a day sitting in town while it rained. 

But, not wanting to make a decision to leave Crested Butte, we decided we’d go to town, take care of some email, phone calls, etc. & see what happened.

Around 11:30 we decided to grab some pizza the Secret Stash...yumeeeee!  Everywhere “inside” was busy...no one wants to be out in the rain.  After lunch, as we strolled outside, we both thought the sky was looking better.  

Today’s “easy” hike was up to Green Lake.  There are two hikes in CB called Green Lake, I’d done both before, but Danny hadn’t done either one.  The hike starts out on an old jeep road, that of course, I hiked---didn’t drive it--when I did this hike last year.

But, Daring-Dan had me drive part way down the road & urged me to keep going, but eventually I defiantly pulled over, parked & set the brake (it may surprise some of you, but at rare moments, I can be a teeny bit stubborn).   The road is not edgy, it’s just one HUGE mud hole after another & giant ruts.  The 4Runner had no problem...but when I saw the next part of the road...it was me that had the problem.  I did “offer up the keys”, but as much as I want to learn to drive on these roads, I really don’t want anything to break out here.  No cell service & the tow bills are around $700...but, then we all know I can be a chicken.

But, HEY, we were going on a hike...that means “on your feet”, so it didn’t really bother ME that we were walking on the road...I’ve walked the whole thing before.

The sky was still overcast, but we were the only ones on the trail...or so we thought.  The only other fresh “tracks” we saw, were from one bicycle...ummm...this isn’t exactly a mountain bike hike....we wondered.

As with most mountain lakes, you start below the lake & hike up.  There are some pretty waterfalls coming off Green Lake.

Once you get up to the lake, there is a trail you can take up farther...& you can even summit a couple of the mountains if you want.  Last year when I hiked here, the top of the trail got socked in by weather, so I turned around.  You can see the trail in the pic below, switchbacking up the “bowl”;  the lake sits at the bottom of the bowl,

It was 2:30 before we even started this hike, & while it’s not long, we knew the rain would be coming back, so it was only our goal to hike to the lake...our legs were happy about that too!

Enjoy the views...they’re spectacular!  You can see Lake Irwin in the background way below.

Danny in the foreground, with Scarpe Ridge in the background...it’s one of our favorite hikes!

Close up view of the trail that goes to the top of the mountain.

Happy couple!!

The weather was holding out for us & it was even warming up a little, so we took our time just sitting by the lake & exploring around it.  But then we noticed someone up on the trail above us (actually, he was shortcutting the switchbacks).

As we watched him descend, somewhere near the bottom of the trail, he’d stashed his bike....it was his biker tracks we’d seen.  We were sort of amazed as he rode down the trail.  Up near the lake, where we all were, is a variety of ground cover...large boulders, big gravel type rocks, then dirt...he was happily riding along through it all.

Green Lake is definitely blue when you see it from Scarpe Ridge.  But today, with the sky lighting it at certain angles, I saw green.  But then I was amazed at the different colors of green in the reflection of green from the fauna around the lake...nature...so beautiful!

We took our time going back to the car, enjoying some late season flowers along the trail.

We were so glad we hadn’t left today!  The hike had been just perfect!  As we walked the road & neared the car, we--of course--analyzed the road...how we would each drive the nasty parts.  We were pretty much on the same page as to how we “think” we’d do it, but, in truth, only one of us was willing.

As we stashed our packs in the car getting ready to leave, I could hear another vehicle coming up the road.  I knew it would be a VW Bug or Prius or something like that, because that usually happens to me when I think my super-duper 4Runner will break if I drive it on a nasty road...then comes along something totally WRONG for this road & scoots up it just fine...the drivers not even slowing down.

But this was a SUV--full of young guys--so I had not doubt they would drive up the nasty spots...& they did & didn’t even brake as they rounded the corner to go up the hill.  They also didn’t take the way Danny & I would have...& did scrape the underside of the car as they went, but they sure didn’t have a problem.

I handed over the keys to the 4Runner to Danny...it was time for him to have some fun on the backroads!  

By the time we got back to town, it was still dry, but the temps were dropping.  All week long, we’ve gone from sandals & shorts & fleece & down jackets & long pants & wool socks...back & forth.  

It was “Brick-time!”  It was Dickie’s turn at working the outside bar, so we kept bundled up & sat outside...she quickly turned on one of the super-cool heaters above us & we warmed up fast.  

I ordered  Dark Seas Imperial Stout from Mission brewery followed by a Lagunita’s IPA.  Danny had the Anderson Valley Amber Ale, a Left Hand Nitro Sawtooth Amber & Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red.  We were very toasty!  :)

We’d debated about going to the free concert up on the mountain, instead of the Brick, but so glad we didn’t.  Because of the iffy weather, they’d moved it inside...which isn’t near as much fun as being outdoors.

We walked around town a little more as the skies grew dark, but still dry, & enjoyed our last evening in this perfect little town.

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