Monday, August 25, 2008

Colorado Vacay: Plans A-D

Colorado was a fabbbbulous vacay! It turned out to be not even CLOSE to what we had planned (due to some major inclement weather), but it was still the bomb. We started out at Estes Park and camped out in the NONSTOP rain for about 24 hours...we then packed up our things and headed out to hike to a few different GORGEOUS lakes on our way out of the park. We decided the weather in Estes Park was NOT accommodating our plans, we we would try somewhere further south. We were hoping to spend one night with the Freedes (who were coincidentally vacationing in the same place at the same time that we were!) in their house, but due to a totally inconvenient lack of phone service on both of our parts, we were unable to communicate well enough to make that connection happen. Sad :(

So...we headed out on a 2-hour drive to Idaho Springs where we planned to make our 14er Summit Attempt the next morning. On our way to this teeny little town, the rain let up just enough to reveal the most amazing rainbow Brian and I have EVER seen! Each and every color was BLAZING with clarity, and you could see the full rainbow from one end to the other. Both ends ran straight into the was completely gorgeous and a super uplifting sight after SO much yuck-weather.

We arrived late that night to our shelter of choice, the Idaho Springs Motel. Umm...STRAIGHT out of a cheesy scary murder movie where everyone dies. Seriously...OLD. SCHOOL. Kind of gross (although nothing indoors seemed gross in comparison with our previous 36 hours). Our next door neighbors were SCREAMING profanities at each other all night long. Still...the BEST 8 hours of sleep I'd had in what seemed like an incredibly long time!

So...all fresh and rested, we headed out on Sunday morning to Echo Lake, the start of our journey to the top of Mt.Evans. The lake was beauuuutiful, the first few hours of the hike were breathtaking, the head of the sun was SUPER welcomed....and then...the nast-weather closed in on us once again. We should have known it was too good to be true. We had our big packs on because we had planned to spend the night at the treeline before getting up early Monday morning to take only our daypacks on the summit trip. Well...once we reached somewhere between 12 & 13000 feet, we found ourselves trapped in an almost-white-out. We debated whether to continue, but decided that DYING on the mountain really didn't sound that excited. We found shelter from the snow-storm under a giant boulder for a while, until it lightened up and then, disappointed, began retracing our steps back down the mountain. For the next 4 hours, we trekked our way through the rain (except for about 30 glorious minutes of sunshine) back down to Echo Lake, where our car was parked. HO. LY. CRAP. At 8:00, when we FINALLY reached the parking lot...we were both COMPLETELY exhausted, thirsty, and a strange combo of in pain & numb. Finally accepting that our plans were a no-go, we headed out of the wilderness once and for all and off to spend the rest of our vacation in civilization.In Colorado Springs, we stayed in a real hotel, ate at real restaurants, engaged in the classic tourist activities such as: mountain horseback riding, giant waterfall watching, souvenir shopping, & Old-Historic-Town strolling. It was delicious :) We even accidentally stumbled across the ORIGINAL Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory...kind cool :)

The drive home was beauuuutiful & we were sad to leave the mountains....but being back home has NEVER felt so good! We are finally staying home this weekend and I couldn't be more excited to have a weekend that does NOT involve a 4-hr drive to&from somewhere :)


Jacci said...

glad you had such a good time despite all the weather! you always make the best out of ANY situation. miss you and love you tons! :)

Kayla said...

UGGH! We were in all of those same places...probably like 50 yrds. from y'all and not even knowing! SO SAD!