Sunday night I remembered that a friend from our bicycling club in Florida was heading to Colorado to meet up with some motorcycle buddies. One of us deleted the e-mail, so we couldn’t remember exactly when he was coming or where he would be staying. We had told him if we were nearby we would try and get together. His wife replied on Monday morning that he was on his way and would be arriving in Nathrop, CO late Tuesday night. When I looked at the GPS I realized we were only 80 miles from Nathrop, so I researched campgrounds and found a Passport America park in Buena Vista, 9 miles north of Nathrop.
So instead of heading south on Labor Day, we went west and ended up at Mt. Princeton RV Park. It’s not a bad private park, and after Labor Day they honor the half price PA discount for as many days as you want to stay. Instead of the $37 a night, we are paying $18.50, which is good for full hookups. We are definitely taking advantage of the electricity, (the cats get their own heater at night so they don’t have to freeze anymore) and we have a cell signal and fast internet for the first time in weeks. We even have a view of the mountains, which surround the town.
(Note to selves: What were we thinking traveling on a holiday? The traffic heading east on Hwy 24 towards Colorado Springs/Denver looked like what we’ve seen during a hurricane evacuation. Luckily there weren’t many people going west like us, but it was very windy, we crossed three passes over 9,000 feet, so I got to drive the car while Jim drove the rig. It was a very scenic drive, though.)
After sitting on our butts for hours yesterday morning catching up on e-mail and doing some research and updates on the computers, I decided it was time for a good long hike. Jim would have been happy sitting there all day, but he knows I won’t let him do that! So off we went 12 miles west up the road to Cottonwood Pass to the Denny Creek Trailhead, and a 3 mile hike to Hartenstein Lake, a subalpine mountain lake, which sounded like a lovely hike. We followed Denny Creek for awhile, and had great views, but of course it was uphill the whole way.
The trail started at 9,800 feet and climbed to the lake at 11,500. We both struggled the whole way up, and Jim assured me he was not doing anymore hikes like that at such a high elevation.Guess we will never acclimate to it. So now I have to find some more level ground to walk on. There is also a fork in the trail that goes up to Mt. Yale, one of the many fourteeners in the area. A guy we talked to in the parking lot said it was only a three and a half mile trail to the summit. Can’t imagine how steep it must be.
Also it started out partly cloudy, and by the time we got to the lake it was looking like rain. It would have been prettier if the sun was shining. And we saw nothing but a few squirrels.
We breathed much easier on the way down, but the trail was steep and rocky so we had to be careful of our footing, and we survived another hike in the Rockies. Now I have to go find some easier trails…