Summary (as per special request):
Job interview on Tuesday. To dejangle nerves, an overnight loop on a section of the Gore Range Trail. It was astounding. Kind of steep. And wet. Made new friends and saw 2 rainbows within 15 minutes of each other.
Long version (as per what I feel like writing about) Day 1:
At 11:30 am on Tuesday, I had an interview with the Family and Intercultural Resource Center. To allay my nerves, I decided I would follow it up with a hike. Oh but where? Anne suggested I try walking out the front door.
It poured rain as I packed my backpack but by 3 it had abated, even if the clouds had not completely subsided. At the North Ten Mile Creek Trail Head I did a once over before trooping up the hill. Half a mile later I realized I had forgotten the camera. It was a moment of decision. I went back.
The sunny meadows and stream-side playing spots make an ideal excursion for family troops on vacation. I was honored to bear witness to the laughter and camaraderie but glad to be headed out to where I would have my own space. Though…
…these mountains do not give up their secret spaces easily. They make you work for them (I like that). 3.4 miles, 1000 ft gain, and westward along crashing North Ten Mile Creek, then hop northward on National Forest Trail 60. Better known as the Gore Range Trail.
Here I was immediately faced with 1000 feet of switchbacks up a hanging meadow, then another 500 ft gain through the trees, up to the pass meadows. Granted, it was beautiful, but there is something demeaning about sweating and growling up a steep, narrow track while thousands of flowers smile on benignly. In all shapes, sizes, and colors, the wild flowers make it look easy to be up here! But you know what? My way may require more effort than dropping in a bird poop, but I’ll take it!
And take it I did, until I began into the high lands, where the ground cover is a spongy verdant green. I stood at the tree line and watched evening spread over even these high places; I was home for the night.
I found an established spot (there were several) nestled up high (there were flash flood warnings) and overlooking the terrain.
I pitched my tent, collected water and some fire wood. I carefully built a little fire starter lean-to and as I struck a match, the skies opened up and poured. As if on cue.
I ended up eating hummus and pita in my tent, listening to the drumming on my rain-fly and wondering if I forgot anything important outside.