We were looking forward to a return hike to Bullion King Lake since we had fond memories of going there in 2012, but sometimes life gets in the way. The night before our scheduled hike I was outside walking Sophie and Jim was on his way out with Elvis when he yelled that the water pump was running constantly but he hadn’t turned anything on. Just then I saw water gushing out of the compartment that holds our outdoor shower. Jim turned off the pump and went out to find the leak. It appeared that a valve had failed, and we decided that since we never use the outdoor shower anyway he would just cap it off. Of course we had nothing that would fit the pipe, so the next day Jim sent me off to hike and he stayed home to fix the plumbing. What a nice husband! It only took two trips to the hardware store and a couple of Shark Bite fittings to get the job done. Since access is under the refrigerator behind two drawers there is little room to work.
He did a nice job cutting the pipes and installing the fittings, the first time he ever used Shark Bites. They aren’t cheap but are easy to put on and are removable in case we or the next owner want to install another shower. So far no leaking. When he finished that project he changed the oil in the car, a productive day for Jim.
I, on the other hand, got the better end of the deal, hiking at 12,000+ feet to another beautiful lake and beyond. The previous day we were joined by Glenn (to simplify), and he also came along for the hike, as did our chauffeur Mark, Bobbie, Suzanne, Kim, John and Joalenn.
The “trail” is a jeep road which is closed due to work going on to clean up an old mine. The scenery is just unbelievably beautiful.
Then it was a shortcut to the lake, which meant pick your way up, up, up.
Bullion King Lake, peaceful and calm except for the jumping trout.
Suzanne and her stunt double.
Some of us decided to continue on above the lake to try and get to a ridge with views of the Blue Lakes. I decided not to follow Mark along this snowy path, and ended up with an even more difficult route up, but you’ll have to check the Box Canyon Blog to see my photo.
We climbed higher and higher, trusting that Mark and Bobbie knew where we were going, although we didn’t really have to be going anywhere since it was a wonderful day just to be out hiking.
A faint, rocky trail continues to our destination.
Which I find out is at the top of the ridge ahead up where you can see the snow. My heart begins beating faster and faster, and not just due to the fact that we are at 13,000’ but because I fear if I make it up there I may never be able to get back down. It was much steeper than it looks.
I make it about half way up the grassy part of the climb, stop on a slightly level spot to catch my breath and decide to turn around to take a picture of the view. As I look down, down, down I get lightheaded and dizzy, and can feel the panic attack coming on. It was at this point I sat down and gave up. I do know my limits.
I called Jim to get an update on the water leak repair (yes, we had Verizon up there) and took lots of photos.
I watched this marmot take a long walk carrying something fairly big in its mouth. A baby, perhaps?
I finally regained my composure and made it down to the rocky area so I could watch Glenn the mountain goat come back down a different, even more treacherous looking path.
While Mark, Bobbie and Suzanne came down the way they went up.
We took the low road back, which led us through the most impressive bed of flowers.
Suzanne and I watched Mark effortlessly glissade down the snow, then we proceeded to go down on our butts, laughing all the way. Not very graceful but it sure was fun.
More scenes on the way back down.
Is it any wonder why Mark and Bobbie love living in Ouray?