We are leaving Colorado tomorrow to head to Rainier!!!!!!!! Our summit climb attempt is July 25-29!!!!!!!! Overuse of exclamation points is meant to express my trepidation!!!
Just do us a favor and think of us specifically on Sunday morning when you are sitting comfortably in your home and drinking your coffee … because hopefully we will be hitting the summit around that time and high-fiving! UPDATE … It’s actually MONDAY we are summiting, but good thoughts are welcomed on Sunday too!
But before we leave Colorado, I want to wrap up our visit and say how much we enjoyed our time here. I’ve visited this state 5 times, but always in the winter. This year was the first time I’ve spent anytime in the summer here. All in all, I love Colorado in the summer (mountains! alpine lakes! wildflowers!) as much as I love Colorado in the winter (snow! mountains! cozy cabins!).
As I said before, our trip here was perfectly timed for us to be in a state at higher elevation and with ample opportunity for hiking in prep for Rainier. I am really thinking that all this prolonged exposure to the reduced pressures at higher altitudes is helping me produce more red blood cells to offset the lower oxygen availability on Rainier. One can hope …
Even though we’ve had a busy week with 2 presentations (thanks to all the friends and friends of friends who came!!) and a special side project for BP (will require separate blog post), we still fit in lots of hiking!!!
Earlier in the week, we followed the recommendations from our fellow BP staff and hit 2 trails in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Last Sunday, we set out for a day hike up to Arapaho Glacier, one of the few remaining glaciers in CO, although it really has been downgraded to just a permanent snowfield. The weather was looking iffy for the afternoon, so we tried to scurry up the trail as fast as we could. Apparently Colorado is the #2 spot for lightening deaths in the country, so being above treeline with questionable weather is not a good idea.
We intended to make it 6 miles up to the Arapaho Glacier Lookout at 12,700 feet, but we only made it 4 miles in to 11,300 feet before the fog and storms started rolling in.
Can you see the glacier?? Yeah, not a chance.
We did catch a glimpse of Boulder’s Silver Lake Watershed and its string of lakes. Boulder still obtains 35% of its water supply from this. Pretty cool!
Monday, we set out on the Buchanan trail at Camp Dick and hiked 7 miles up to Red Deer Lake for an overnight excursion. We followed the sounds of a raging creek the whole time, which is always awesome in my book. The weather was threatening all day, but we made it to Red Deer Lake and set up our tent just as it started to thunderstorm.
After the storm passed, we emerged from the tent for dinner, but had no view of the lake. Boo.
But, we hoped we would wake up to clearer skies … and we sure did!
The last treat came in the form of a moose sighting on the trail! Not only one female moose, but 2 babies as well!
Later in the week, we hit 2 other day hike highlights in CO. One was 7 miles roundtrip to Spruce Lake near Breckenridge. I just can’t get enough of these alpine lakes!!! Plus, we got to pop in and see our friends who are WAY overdue for giving birth!! And THEY fed us.
Then we headed to southern CO to visit our favorite priest RevKev. This is RevKev’s last year at the Novitiate, so we will need a new connection in southern Colorado! As usual with our visits, we forced him to go on a hike with us. This time, we did a 5-mile roundtrip to the Crags, which reminded me of the red rocks in Arizona with the exception that we are also surrounded by wildflowers, aspen and spruce trees!
RAINIER, HERE WE COME!!!!!!!