this weekend we cancelled our plans to go to jackson because of the insanely long drive and the fact that i am going to have to drive 2/3 of the same drive this week. with a last minute call to our ft. collins friends doug and liz we had alternate plans and began packing for a camping trip in the colorado mountains. there were 10 people and 3 pooches total and all of us had a great time. we found a wonderful campsite and enjoyed running from the ever-shifting campfire smoke, eating fire-cooked meals, and swapping stories. doug and liz have superb friends so it was easy to have fun.
we went on one short hike on saturday afternoon, realizing about 1 mile in that we were started from the wrong trailhead and that we were a good 8 walking miles from the lakes we were hoping to reach. oh well, my legs and lungs were ok with the modified hike we took instead.
the next day we set out on an epic hike to "bag some 13ers" as the colorado folk put it. there is this strange drive to conquer mountains in this state and although 13ers (peaks that are =/> 13,000 ft) aren't as cool as 14ers, you still get some recognition for hiking those. i'm certain they are all a strain on my respiratory system! anyhow, foreboding rain clouds and burning lungs forced us to modify this hike as well, allowing us to let go of the need to stand on top of the surrounding peaks.
it was a gorgeous basin and we all got to a nice lake at about 12,500 ft where we enjoyed our picnics. half of us then decided to head down before the rains and thunderstorms caught us, the other half decided to press on to the saddle and see the view. i, being in the former half, enjoyed the conversations i had on the way down and then opted to check out aspen with one of the couples. we didn't fit in with our grubby hiking clothes and matted camping hair, but we had fun saying "aspen" in a snooty voice and laughing at the fur clothing we saw parading the streets. we also indulged in a little espresso, which happened to be the best espresso any of us have ever had. leave it to aspen to have that claim!
on the drive home today we went through steamboat springs, which is a town we really liked. i think we will end up going skiing there a few times this winter. they have a gluten-free pizza place so we indulged in that and checked out the whitewater kayak park.
we are home now and i must pry our new laptop (wohoo!) out of my hands and go take a shower. although there is much homework and reading that i have to finish tonight, a nap just might be my first order of business.