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670 Return to Colorado 2012-07-02

Colorful Colorado welcome sign

The Colorful Colorado sign, which is not colorful at all!

After spending our morning hiking in Devils Garden (Arches National Park) we returned to Moab and visited the library. The Moab Library is a splendid facility, equipped with internet and plenty of electrical outlets for charging computers, pads, and phones. On top of the electronic amenities, the library is also cool - that is, it has a very good air conditioner. We would advise bringing an extra shirt or sweater if you visit the facility - even in the summer!

For dinner, we went out to eat. We found a great place with good food, atmosphere, and it was air conditioned. After dinner, we met some folks at nearby tables and talked about mountains and trails. It was a fun evening.

Later on, at Up the Creek Campground, we sat sweltering in the heat. For the past few evenings, the weather had cooled off at dusk but this evening it was just plain hot. It was almost unbearable. We could not get comfortable. During the night the wind would blow gusts of even hotter air into our tent. The hot gusts made us feel as if we were the main course in a convection oven. Finally, during the night, we declared we were done (maybe, well done!) The next morning we packed up and left Utah, a day early.

Happily, we said goodbye to Moab and hello to Colorado. Leaving the heat we drove to the mountains. Our first goal was to return to Mount Bierstadt. On our cloudhiking site, we had not yet done a Map or Adventure Guide for Mount Bierstadt, although we have climbed it five times. We had data for the great East Ridge and Sawtooth routes, but not the gentle West Slopes, our chosen route.

Exiting Interstate 70 at Georgetown, we drove on the newly paved road (yes, paved!) toward Guanella Pass. We had already decided to stay at the National Forest Service - Guanella Pass Campground, if any sites were available. Our visit was in the middle of the week, so we had little trouble finding an available, spacious site at the campground.

In the cool mountain air, we took everything out of the vehicle and re-organized and re-packed it. The vehicle was in a shambles from our fast exit from Dantes Inferno, but now we were in the cool mountain air.

campsite at Guanella Pass Campground

It was great to be back in Colorado and in the mountains. After packing our packs for the morning climb, we went to sleep, snuggling under our down bag - instead of sweltering in the Utah heat.

We were happy campers.

Happy Colorado trails


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