It’s the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time. ~Tallulah Bankhead
Plans for a four day hike were delayed by a white water rafting trip with new friends and acquaintances. We barged down Clear Creek on its last day of use, as the water was quite low. Amidst the thrill of rapids and canyon walls pockmarked by mines bleeding mineral spills, I experienced only one moment of unpleasantness. In a particularly shallow area my foot smashed into a rock; it smarted but passed as soon as the next rapid raged before us.
That night The Pack gathered at a favorite camping spot and communed over campfire, guitar music, and a rack of massive ribs. Cavemen would have been impressed. As we sat and talked I was able, for a moment, to paddle into a mental eddy and bear witness to the group. The array of geographical and psychological regions which have been charted by these individuals, taken together, is exceptionally vast.
The next morning I drove to the Rest Area just East of Copper (between exits 198 and 195; on the west bound side of I-70) and hit the Gore Range trail head. This time, I was aiming to hike the length of it. According to my perfunctory research the trail was 54.5 miles (and by “perfunctory research” I mean, what some chick told me last time I was out here). However, having learned from my experience last time, I had checked the weather. High of 74 and Low of 47 every day for the rest of the week.
By noon I was off and hiking. For the first .8 miles the trail is a double track beside a series of pretty little lakes…beside the highway.
The trail passes right along Exit 195 where about 5 parking spots could safely be had. If I did this trail again, I would park there instead. Alternately, there is a bus stop at Exit 195, right in front of Copper.
The trail heads West for about 1.5 miles, allowing one to examine the expanses of the Copper Mountain ski runs, before swinging North and climbing amidst sunny, wildflower laden meadows.
And so, up into the Gore I went. Again. Little knowing what the Range had in store for me this time.