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Scree - June 25-July 01, 2010

scree field


We packed and left our campsite before 6. Started our hike at 7 from Loveland Pass, 11,990.

We climbed over four major bumps. There was not a single switchback on the trail.

For the first time since we had been here, we felt good. Amy was having trouble breathing but said she felt fine other than that.

On returning to Loveland Pass, we rejoined the tourist route. A large family had walked about 100 feet up the trail and decided it was enough. They were taking pictures of their achivement before returning to their vehicle.

After finding a gas station and some water, we drove to the Grays and Torreys Trailhead at Stevens Gulch. The road had truly been improved (we had heard rumors.) Newton, our Element, cruised to the parking area.

My phone is still not working. I do not even expect to get it fixed until we return home. Call Amy.


We had to leave Blanks Cabin area. What an idyllic spot, it is too bad we could not stay longer.

A pristine area we passed had a no camping sign posted. A heard of cattle were tromping the grounds. It is interesting that humans can't camp there, but cattle can. Who do you think does the more damage?

Our day of rest felt good. I finally got rid of my three day headache. I hope that means I am finally acclimating.

My phone is not working. Call Amy.

We are going to climb Grizzly Peak in the morning, a 13,000 foot peak near Loveland Pass. There is no way we could sleep near the trailhead which is at almost 12000 feet, so instead we chose to camp at Prospector Campground near Dillon. If we could rate camping spots and we would give Blanks Cabin a 10. Prospector would not even get a 01. It is truly that bad and you even have to pay for the ugliness.


We had discussed a hiking plan before going to bed. To help us acclimate we needed to get to 13,000 feet elevation. We would hike the standard trail up Blanks Gulch. If we felt like it we would go to the pass at 13,370 feet. If we still felt good we would add a couple hundred more feet to our elevation and go to Esprit Point, a little knob at 13,600 feet, with great panoramic views.

We slept in. I woke up at five, but Amy needed sleep, so I let her. We were on a short hike and could turn around at anytime.

Mt Shavano is a worthy 14,000 foot peak. The trail is steep all the way to the top. You earn the right to step on its summit.

We have climbed Shavano five times before, we were not heading to the summit.

One interesting thing about hiking the 14ers, is all the people you meet. Most of them have the one goal, make the summit. We were not acclimated enough to try for the summit without a lot of pain. Most of the people climbing the mountain understood the pain.

We were going to leave the area soon as we returned to the car; but after discussing our options, decided to sleep another night at close to 10,000 feet.

Arriving at the car, I changed clothes and prepared to rest for a while. I got cold and could not warm. I shviered in a heavy jacket and inside a sleeping bag. I have no clue what was wrong. I will blame it on altitude, just because I can. Amy nursed me back to warmth. I still have a killer headache, though.

After retiring early to the Element, I began to feel a bit better. I hope I feel stronger tomorrow. Good night.


Woke up in Leadville, CO with a great view of Mount Massive.

Coffee and eats at the coffee shop entertained us for a couple of hours. We tried to update the web sites between cups of coffee.

The Provin' Grounds coffee shop served their large coffee in a mug that actually looked closer to a soup bowl. The coffee was very thick, maybe I was supposed to have asked for a soup spoon.

We did a five mile hike from Timberline Trailhead on the Colorado Trail north to Galena Pass. It only gained about 1,600 feet in elevation, but it was enough for our first day. We reached 11,550 feet above sea level. I would do the hike again.

There was a strong musty odor as we climbed from the trailhead. We were suspicious of the possibilities of a bear, but did not see one.

Returned to Leadville and drove to Salida area. We drove straight to Blanks Cabin Trailhead. It is a little lower than last night in Leadville. If all goes right we plan to climb to above 13,000 feet.

Blanks Cabin area is one of the best camping areas (period).

We had a major storm blow through during the night. The winds shook the car. The thunder boomed through us. The lightening lit the sky. Hail bounced off of the roof. It was a big storm.


Woke up in western Kansas. It was cool and breezy. The interstate was not that noisy, but the birds were talking loudly. I wondered if they got a message from our guys back home. We closed our restaurant (the feeders) while we are gone. I am sure they are complaining.

We made it to REI for their opening at 10. They were slammed with customers. It was unbelievable. We found most of the things we wanted; but they did not have the shoes or harnesses we were looking for.

After spending two hours at REI (it is a really big store), we went to Golden, CO and bought the shoes and harnesses we wanted. It was a relatively quick in and out. They seemed like good people at the store.

As quickly as possible we made our way to Leadville. The traffic headed back into Denver was backed up forever. I am glad I was not going that direction.

Leadville looks great. We are staying at the RV Corral. Bill's is closed. And we are dining at Quincy's. All is good. Wish you were here!


We woke around four-thirty and began doing last minute odd jobs. The biggest and most important duty was our last minutes with our good dog, Jake. It was very sad to leave him.

At 6:30 we hit the road. Much of our conversation was dominated by our memories of Jake and last year. We love traveling with him.

In St Louis, we were almost to the Mississippi River when we saw a road sign indicating the Interstate 70 ramp was closed. The only problem was we were already beyond the bypass. We had to sit in traffic and think of ill things to say about the road work signage. We finally were able to find a moving lane and to run from the mayhem.

In Kansas City, a major accident brought the interstate to a stand still. The left lane was clear because a sign messaged the lane was shut. A couple of pickup trucks with trailers who had been particularly troublesome to pass moved over in the clear lane moved out of our sight. We moved to the far right and exited the interstate and took 470 to bypass town. The turn land sped along and we passed the two trucks sitting in the far left lane, unable to cross the lanes of traffic to exit on the by pass. Life is good.

We love crossing the prairie. We look forward to Kansas. We were not disappointed.

In western Kansas we drove into a large thunderstorm. The rain and wind shook the car. We slowed to 50 mph. It took forever to travel the last fifty miles.

Finally we arrived at the last rest area in Kansas, our destination. We pulled in the camping loop and quickly readied the vehicle for the night. The winds were too strong to set up the tent enclosure that fits on the rear of the car. We slept curled in balls. It was not very comfortable. It was indeed a long night.


Packing took longer than suspected. Naturally. Last year we had developed four crack in our Yakima box. While we packing, we decided on a new solution to help ease the strain on the box. We will discuss our solution with Yakima at a later date.

We also had to clean the house. Well, Amy cleaned the house, I had other projects I was trying to complete. It is a good thing Amy loves me, I really was busy. Honest.

After the car was packed, I went to visit Jon and Laura. I entrusted them with a backup hard drive of my big computer. After some good conversation I had to call it an early evening. We were going to leave early Saturday morning.