Safe Travels (Don’t Die)

I think this is an appropriate song for most adventures. I would like to thank a Miss Allie Strel for introducing it to me all those years ago. Enjoy!
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fmhzSx02AhA

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Up, Down and Repeat.

Colorado is a beautiful state, probably our favorite.  However, it’s very mountainous. Some days we go up 7 000ft, and descend the same. We even went up a couple 14 000er’s. And my sister and bro-in-law came for a visit in Denver where we went on an eating and drinking binge. It was a splendid weekend!

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Summit of Mount Massive at 14 521ft.

Oh the odd things people donate to us.

Oh the odd things people donate to us.

Our 200th day.

Our 200th day.

Summit if Massive.

Summit of Massive.

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It would appear that Old Man Winter has finally caught up to us.

Hitching to Denver.

Hitching to Denver.

Driving to Denver. Oh Dear Godness. I'm driving in a city of 3 million and I haven't driven since August. Help!

Driving to Denver. Oh Dear Godness. I’m driving in a city of 3 million and I haven’t driven since August. Help!

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My Sister and Brother-In-Law came for a visit.

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We went to the Avery Brewery in Boulder. It was fantastic! And if you walk there from Canada, they shower you with free beer. Totally worth it!

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They even gave us a beer that hadn’t been released yet called Tweak. It was almost 18% strong. Now that’s what I call an energy drink!

Afterwards we went to a meadery.  Yum!

Afterwards we went to a meadery. Yum!

Going on a beer tour.

Going on a beer tour.

Sister and I heading to a brunch all-you-can-eat and drink buffet. How civilized!

Sister and I heading to a brunch all-you-can-eat and drink buffet. How civilized!

And now we head back to the trail, hitching from Canon City. A town known for having 13 prisons. That can’t be good for hitch hiking. Oh dear. Really oh dear!

The First Hut in 3300 km – Yay!

We haven’t stayed in a hut for 3300 km, aka since the Wapta Icefield. However, a few days ago we came across some backcountry club hut. It was cold. It was snowing. They had left the window unlatched.  And when you have a see-through tent and a sleeping bag for only -7C, anything goes.

If only they had made the window slightly wider...

If only they had made the window slightly wider…

The High Point

Two men reached the edge of the trees. The wind was a hurricane and mountain pines shook and thundered. The beards of the men were covered in frost as they went in and out of mist, kicking steps up the long long slope, muttering, “Only 1600 km to Mexico…only 1600 km..”

They paused and looked up at the lofty summit. 

Gasp wheeze cough sputter. ..

 …step step step…

Pause.

“Only 1599.9 km to Mexico…”

Last week we managed to slog up Mount Elbert – the Roof of the Rockies and the 2nd highest mountain in the Lower 48. The view was magical. Even though it’s huge, it’s not difficult.  Just a matter of placing one foot in front of the other and carrying on.

The trailhead and the beginning of the never-ending-stairwell.

The trailhead and the beginning of the never-ending-stairwell.

Stairway to heaven?

Stairway to heaven?

The top! Yay! Since people are always interested in ascent time, here's our: 201 days. And that doesn't even include the return journey.

The top! Yay! Since people are always interested in ascent time, here’s ours: 201 days. And that doesn’t even include the return journey.

The Sunshine State

Somehow we have managed to make it halfway through Colorado to Leadville. Leadville is the highest town in the USA at 10 152ft. It’s a neat town with an old mining culture. I could stay here for awhile, but with Old Man Winter nipping at our heels, it’s time to move on. As you can see, we have been incredibly lucky with weather thus far (for the most part). See for yourself:

The buffet the morning we left Grand Lake. It was done by an English lady witb a drinking problem. But boy - was it good!

The buffet the morning we left Grand Lake. It was done by an English lady witb a drinking problem. But boy – was it good!

Leaving Grand Lake.

Leaving Grand Lake.

This is for you Jill!

This is for you Jill!

We have had our winter times...

We have had our winter times…

We stayed for a night in Winter Park due to bad weather. We went into a coffee shop to use the phone. We ended up getting a free lunch and a place to stay. Thank you Michelle and AJ! It was fantastic!

We stayed for a night in Winter Park due to bad weather. We went into a coffee shop to use the phone. We ended up getting a free lunch and a place to stay. Thank you Michelle and AJ! It was fantastic!

Rollins Pass. Where the railway crossed at over 11 000ft!

Rollins Pass. Where the railway crossed at over 11 000ft!

Sometimes you just have to break the rules...

Sometimes you just have to break the rules…

Sunshine and Lollies.

Sunshine and Lollies.

On the divide.

On the divide.

Nearing the summit of Stanely.

Nearing the summit of Stanely.

There are good parts of the trail, and bad. This is the bad.

There are good parts of the trail, and bad. This is the bad.

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Going up Vasquez Peak.

The Sunnit.

The Summit.

Looking towards Denver.

Looking towards Denver.

Mid morning snack.

Mid morning snack.

Unfortunately large swaths of the forest here is dead due to pine beatles.

Unfortunately large swaths of the forest here is dead due to pine beatles.

Ptarmigan Peak.

Ptarmigan Peak.

Looking down to the ski resort town of Silverthorne.

Looking down to the ski resort town of Silverthorne.

The CDT and the Colorado Trail have merged.  The CT is 480 miles, running from Denver to Durango. It is very well maintained,  compared to the CDT.

The CDT and the Colorado Trail have merged. The CT is 480 miles, running from Denver to Durango. It is very well maintained, compared to the CDT.

The CT.

The CT.

Ignore the open ski hills... Gulp! They have been making snow, so some have already opened.

Ignore the open ski hills… Gulp! They have been making snow, so some have already opened.

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Summit of Elk Mountain.

Walking the ridge.

Walking the ridge.

Corbett Peak.

Corbett Peak.

Camp Hale. They trained 15 000 troups here for mountain combat during World War II.

Camp Hale. They trained 15 000 troups here for mountain combat during World War II.

Chilly mornings.

Chilly mornings.

The town of Leadville.

The town of Leadville.

Can’t See Further Than The End Of The Nose

Being November, we spend many hours each day hiking in the dark. Mostly we hike to a predetermined spot on the map, just so we get the right mileage.  Sometimes it’s a shock in the morning when we see where we are…

We awake to find a grave by the tent. Oh dear...I wonder if it had anything to do with the missing cup, two sporks, spatula,  and vitamins?

We awake to find a grave by the tent. Oh dear…I wonder if it had anything to do with the missing cup, two sporks, spatula, and vitamins?

Dog grave that is. Weird!

Dog grave that is. Weird!