6. Colorado in Summer…7.2017

day 21…7.20
Jill & I had decided on the same hikea new one to her that I was anxious for her to experience.  Its called Rustlers Gultch & usually has amazing wildflowers & big views & some waterfalls.  Its a long hike & a wet one.  I told them I always wear my Chacos because there’s three big water crossings & a lot of the trail is wet.  We’d had a big HUGE storm the night before & I noticed this morning before I left camp that the river was higher & the usually clear water was muddy & orange.  I wondered how the water crossings would be on our hike…especially the third one, which is always the roughest one to cross.  I met them at the parking area along Gothic road & then we had our first river crossing.  It’s not bad this year & I knew even if it was up from the storm, it would be okay.  I’d crossed this last Saturday getting to the 401 trailhead. Greg did not like the crossing & said it was the coldest he’d ever been & it seemed to take awhile for his feet to return to normal.


The worst part of the hike is a mile long straight uphill road to walk.  The trail eventually evens out into a valley with wildflowers all along the way.


As we hiked along the trail, we came across another water crossing…one that is just usually an easy walk through, but it was a lot deeper.  Then I could see huge amounts of water where only small amounts had been on my previous hikes here.  I think this is my 8th or 9th time hiking Rustlers Gultch…so the water was making me wonder.  


We crossed the second water crossing with no problems at all.I know Greg was worried about the upcoming water crossings as he would ask every hiker coming back how the water was.  One couple informed us that they had crossed, but farther up the trail there had been a mudslide crossing the trail.  He crossed it, but his wife refused so they turned around.  Another, older couple said they had turned around before the water, but they had teenie weenie dog that has to be carried across all the water crossings.  We finally made it to the big one & began to asses.  We walked up the river to where I normally cross, but it was really deep & surging. We walked back to the original trail crossing & Greg assessed he wasnt going to cross.  Jill said her & I could go on & at least get to the mudslide, but I wasnt sure we should just leave Greg there, not knowing exactly where the slide was & how long it would take us.  So, we decided to turn around & go back & leave this hike for next year for Jill & I to do.  Im  hoping Danny & I can do this when he gets out here later this month.

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It had still been a beautiful hike, but I don’t think Greg ever got used to the temperature of the water at the crossings!


We all went to Paradise Diner for lunch & it was yummy!  Then I went back to camp to change for the concert up on the mountain tonight….except when I got there, I had mis-remembered the correct night.  It had been the night before.  So, I went straight back out to camp & read.  I’ve had a camp neighbor for the past couple of days named Steven, a teacher from Texas on break & enjoying his first time in CB.  So, once back at camp, he came over & we visited about this wonderful place, bike & hike trails, etc…my favorite subject other than Claire!

day 22…7.21
Jill & Greg were on their own today & I slept in.  I keep saying Im going to take a day from hiking, but cant seem to do itI love to hike!  So, I got out of my bag late, then made coffee, caught up on a couple of phone calls, watched the wildlife & it was late before I got on the trail.  


So, I decided to do a short local hike up to Long Lake.  It was peaceful & quiet with only a few other people there…some swimming, some fishing, some picnicking….a nice hike for sure!


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I went out for lunch & for a beer at the Brick, then by a new place Jill & I discovered called TBar.  They make a wonderful London Fog.  I went by the library (I was sure to pack my CB library card!) & checked out a couple of books then headed back out to camp. I had invited Jill & Greg out for a campfire tonight & I was just going to chill out & read until they got there.  It turned out to be a beautiful evening & the impending storm never happened.  I built an awesome fire! & we sat around & chatted & enjoyed the starry sky.  They would be leaving in the morning, changing their plans a little as Greg had to be unexpectedly back at work on Monday.

Jill & I hugged goodbye….It’s been so much fun traveling with her & spending time chatting & laughing.  Greg wonders what we could possibly find to talk about after a couple of weeks, but her & I have been together longer than they have…we never run short of conversation or laughter!  I had an awesome time with you Jill!  Next time….horse back riding!!!!

day 23…7.22
Jill told me about the hike theyd done yesterday, so I was off to enjoy the same viewsalthough alonetoday.  Its off Kebler Pass & through the Aspensa really beautiful gentle hike.  It starts at Horsepark Ranchmany of these trails are horse friendly & the camping is set up for horses & their trailers.


A huge beaver lodge.


Kebler Pass has one of the largest Aspen forests in the country….sooooo gorgeous!

The hike takes you to a viewpoint which is awesome.  I’m sure this would be a spectacular hike in the fall when all the trees are golden.  Jill had told me there was a huge rock pile farther up the trail past the viewpoint.  Greg hadn’t wanted to her to climb it, but I think they missed the trail that went alongside around it & up to the top…it was easy.  The view was pretty wonderful from the top!

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After arriving back in CB, I stopped at Paradise & got a salad to go.  My stomach was being cranky…unusual for me.  I got back out to camp, ate a little bit, made some hot tea, did some housekeeping chores then settled down with one of my books.  Then, for the first time on this trip, I started working on my website in the back of my 4Runner with the tailgate up protecting me from the down pouring rain.  I worked on through the evening & eventually the rain stopped & sky turned magnificent!

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day 24…7.23
I was wrong when I wrote that I thought the 4th of July page would be the shortest, this one will be!  I finally decided to take a day off from hiking.  So I stayed in camp late, then went to the library.  I plugged in EVERYTHING (keeping devices & chargers charged is always a chore!) & worked away.  Before heading back out to camp, I stopped by the Brick for a couple of slices of pizza & a beer.  It poured down rain as I was cozy inside this wonderful little restaurant listening to all the chatter & visiting with the bartenders.

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Id received a message this afternoon that Tom & Kelly had scored the campspot next to me (we all refer to this campsite as our spot) & were going to be there for a few days!  Yay!  Im so excited to meet up with them again!

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