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Scree - July 02-July 08, 2010

scree field


The weather was fair today. Overcast and light rain, but nothing bad.

Last night the rain we had dusted snow on the mountains.

As we started up the Fern Lake Trail, I saw a soggy looking mom and son walking down the trail. I commented on the heavy rains and then Amy and the mom and son recognized each other. It was one of her students, Mitchell! How funny.

Going to Lake Helene, a trio of hikers were staring at a 100 foot wide snow field as I crossed it. They were disappointed that the trail crossed the the snow and acted as if they felt someone should remove the snow.

Coming down from Fern Lake, we met a man and two children and then lower on the trail we met the mom. She was carrying a thirty year old Jan Sport pack. I can't remember the model but I believe it was a "D" model, the one with the hip belt wings.

Since my watch is fixed I knew what time it was all day. We were two minutes late reaching the trailhead.

Going to Cub Lake we met a trio of hikers. They had their map out and were discussing their location. I asked where they were going. They gave a location other than where they were headed. After a few minutes of conversation they walked back down the hill to the trail they missed. I did not even have to whip out Garmin on them.

We spent the afternoon at Kind Coffee coffee shop. It is a great place to hang out.

My phone is working! You can call Amy anyway, but my phone is functional.


So we praised the Estes Park weather a little too soon. It has rained all day. Pretty miserable. We could still hike; but we could not take the pictures we wanted to take. An umbrella might help keep the camera dry ... we will practice another day.

So after a slow start we went to town. Breakfast at the Mountain Home Cafe, mmm good. We didn't get to eat there last year and were so wanting to taste there breakfast treats again. We were disappointed. We are guessing the cafe was sold (it was for sale). The menu was close to the same, but the food was a little bit off. The ambience had also changed. It was just different. It was no longer the Mountain Home we remembered.

After breakfast we went to the hardware store. We needed a few odds and ends. We found almost everything we needed. There was a Radio Shack that occupied a corner of the store. I though about my phone. There was a chance that the charger I had was not good. I talked to the "manager" and asked if he could see if it was my charger or phone that was broken. Well, come to find out it was the charger. My phone is working again.

The Radio Shack "Manager" reminded us of our friend "fast" Nick.

Amy suggested that we go to the Estes Park Library to see if they had internet access. The Library was great.

My watch band had broken on the 2nd. I had been without a watch for five days. For five days I had complained. I never knew what time it was. I was perpetually disoriented. We got it fixed today.

After catching up on the world, and updating the site, we decided to change campgrounds. Luck was with us, and we found a new site. The rest of the day we spent moving things and occupying the new site.

So I got my phone fixed, my watch fixed, and we have a new campsite. Not a bad day at all.

The Safeways in Colorado don't seem to sell dry ice any longer. This was a special dry ice alert bulletin.

It is still raining, but we are sitting inside the tent, nice and warm.

My phone is working! You can call Amy anyway, but my phone is functional.


It is warm at Rocky Mountain National Park. The temperature difference between Mount Evans and RMNP is remarkable.

We got started a little late today. Eventually we made our way to Bear Lake and began our Lake hike. Not including Bear Lake, we hiked to seven other lakes and one pond. All of the lakes were interesting and scenic.

A woman at the Bear Lake parking area when she returned to her car shouted, "hallelujah!" She was pretty happy.

We saw many hikers on the trails today. Some hikers matched each genre.

A couple of kids told us to "watch out for the skeeters at Sky Pond." There were quite a few "skeeters" at Sky Pond, in fact a swarm of the mosquitoes attacked us.

We could see climbers on the Petit Grepon, while we were at Sky Pond. They were very small.

Neither of us felt like eating dinner. None of the dinners we bought in Nashville look appealing to us. Oh, we are not talking about freeze dried stuff, instead normal over the counter meals!

Wish you were here.

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


We woke on Mount Evans. It was very cold. The nightly rain had frozen to the tent fly. The wind was blowing and it was miserable. We packed early and left.

My phone is inoperable, remember. Amy's was too, almost. She has not been able to get a signal anywhere. Before when we had both phones working we could always compare, but not we just shake our head at AT&T.

In Estes Park, our next destination, it was warm, pleasantly warm.

Our first stop was at Dad's, a laundromat. We did laundry and now have clean clothes. Amy was especially happy that I had clean socks.

Dad's also has showers. Catering to all the campers from Rocky Mountain National Park, Dad's does a big shower business. The shower felt great it had been eight days.

We spent the rest of the day organizing our gear.

I lost my blue cap. I looked all day for it. If anyone has seen it please let me know. I really liked it.

We did not get on online today. Estes was so busy it was flooded with holiday-ers.

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


We woke early, to bad weather. Clouds were everywhere and we could not get the iphone to connect. After talking it over we decided to give it a try regardless of the weather.

On the drive to our trailhead we stopped at Summit Lake. There were mountain goats everywhere. Amy thought one was thinking of butting her. She moved cautiously.

The climb was as good as possible. By mid-morning the weather turned very cold. On one side of the ridge was warm; but on the other side was almost frigid.

We saw some more goats high on Mount Evans. They even had some very young kids in the herd.

It was a big day climbing. We really are tired.

Amy has had a fire three nights in a row. She is a happy camper. She loves to build fires, but they are not allowed in many places. More on campfires on Monday's journal.

Happy Birthday, America.

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


Our campsite is #5 at Echo Lake. It is a great location, but was quite busy today. Tomorrow will probably be even worse.

We took today off as a rest day. We did climb to the top of Devil's Nose which is in sight on the campsite. Later we walked to the Idaho Springs Reservoir. It was the first lake on the Chicago Lakes Trail. The hike was very scenic and only five miles round trip.

Oops, I almost forgot we went to the Echo Lake Lodge for breakfast. It was as good as we remembered.

Last year we visited the Echo Lake, Mount Evans area. We really liked the area and chose to return this year. It is very busy, being the weekend of the Fourth; but it is still a great area. I guess that is why it is so busy.

Tomorrow morning we hope to get started early and climb both Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans. We have done them both previously, but we are looking at a new route on Bierstadt. It looks fun; but it is supposed to be cold tomorrow.

It did not rain today!

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


We left the trailhead at Stevens Gulch a little after 0600. The weather was iffy at best.

It has been raining all afternoon and into the night every day. We have not had a good afternoon yet. All our gear is wet.

Amy and I did not sleep well. We were above 10,000 feet again. What is worse, is our campsite for the next three nights is also above 10,000 feet.

We were looking at doing the Kelso Ridge on Torreys; but due to the threatening weather, we opted to do Kelso Mountain instead. Too bad; but the ridge on Kelso Mountain had some good scrambling which made us happy.

Two young (four or five years old) cowboys, we met on the trail, tipped their hats to Amy. She felt honored.

A father and two sons were returning to the trailhead parking area after presumably climbing Grays Peak. One boy, around eight years old, on reaching the vehicle exclaimed, "I think I am going to die."

The father quickly responded, "just get in the car first."

For lunch we ate at Beau Jo's pizza in Idaho Springs. They are supposed to be the best pizza place ever. It was okay. The pizza had a huge amount of dough. We like the Mountain HIgh Pizza in Leadville better.

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