Thankfully our mail showed up at the Poncha Springs post office yesterday with a big hole in the envelope. Our Escapees magazine was on that side so it held in the rest of the contents, although the new license plate for the Lazy Daze was bent. Since we had some rodents trying to build a nest in the engine compartment and eat the fabric of our Protect-a-Tow, we hurriedly packed up and left this beautiful spot.
It was very windy our last few days in Poncha Springs so we did a couple more forest hikes where we got some protection from the trees. One day we went back to the Shavano trailhead and hiked the Colorado trail heading east this time. We did this back in 2012 with Chuck and Carla and I thought I remembered coming to a big clearing with views but after 2.6 miles of steep ups and downs we decided to turn back.
Nice but not what I remembered. We did see one other person, a backpacker who was out for a four day hike. He did the entire 486 mile trail five years ago and wanted to come back and hike part of it again. He said he was in much better shape back then as he found the climbs to be a lot harder this time.
Just a week after our hike at Monarch Pass we drove back up the road to check out the aspens. What a difference a week makes!
While there we hiked up to Waterdog Lakes, another trail we did with Chuck and Carla in 2012. That day we got caught in a thunderstorm with rain and hail, but this time we had perfect weather. Although only 1.7 miles to the lake, we climbed from 10,300’ to 11,400’ so it was a strenuous hike up a very rocky trail.
The trailhead is hard to find, but if you are coming from Poncha Springs heading west up to Monarch Pass (Hwy 50), the parking area is on the left 1.6 miles past the runaway truck ramp. The trail starts across the road but is well hidden.
Yesterday after picking up our mail, dumping tanks and trash, getting propane, and doing some grocery shopping, all we could muster up the energy for was a 50 mile drive to Russell Lakes State Wildlife Area south of Saguache, CO.
Nobody here but us.
Would not want to stay here during hunting season.
Last evening we took a bike ride through the area to check it out. These are some of the flattest dirt roads we’ve ever seen. If it were not for the surrounding mountains we wouldn’t think we were in Colorado.
One of the quietest places we’ve ever stayed.