This is a beautiful state. And summers are the short, sweet time of high mountain passes and long wandering trails. I needed to take a long detour to Crested Butte yesterday and decided to take the (more) scenic way home over this amazing 12,126 foot pass.
Being an incurable long-distance backpacker, I always search out trails when I'm driving. Even if I don't have time for any hiking. I crossed the Colorado Trail four times and the Continental Divide Trail twice in my drive from the great bowl of the San Luis Valley in the south of the state to the northern reaches of the Front Range where I live now.
You know you need a long hike when you spot a thru-hiker at the top of this ridge and wait around awhile to see if maybe she is headed down to the pass and maybe needs a ride to Buena Vista for resupply... and then are disappointed to see the little figure disappearing over the ridge toward Mt. Yale. Thru-hikers have great stories and the best way to hear them is to give them a ride to the grocery store. It doesn't hurt to give them any and all food you might have in your car also. They will most likely eat anything. (Beware. They are always
The last crossing was at Kenosha pass. I have frequently accessed the CT from this point, stayed in this campground, worked a week-long trail crew from here, hitched to Jefferson to pick up a resupply box and get a burger... I even remember trying to scrub a filthy pair of hiking pants in my cloth bucket in the frigid water of the campground faucet. The trail west from here is absolutely gorgeous with long views of South Park (yes, the one the show is named after) and the big peaks finally in front of you in your trek from Denver.
I didn't have time for more than a few hundred yard stroll up the trail yesterday but I did take a peek at the trail register. There have been a lot of thru-hikers already. I wonder what they found when they hit Georgia pass only 12 miles from here. The snow is rather epic this year and I imagine the postholing was pretty horrific.
Right at the bottom of the pass is this little bit of Serendipity... one of my favorite yarn stores. I might have stopped. Please don't tell anyone.
The only bad thing about the day was remembering 4 hours in that I had left the best cookies in the world in the San Luis Valley. My mom made me a whole box of white chocolate macademia nut cookies and I left them in the cupboard. I almost turned around. They are that good.