After climbing at Monitor Rock and a stop at Princeton Resort Hot Springs we looked for a camp up Chalk Creek. All four National Forest camps had signs out - Campground Full. Luckily we don't need any smoky official campground to stay in. We headed higher and passed St. Elmo, an old mining town. We took the junction toward Hancock Lake. After many bumps, we started to find sites but they were taken. I was the master camp finder and not worried but it was getting late! I found a side road and put the truck into 4x4 for a bumpy but worthwhile cruise to one of the best campsites of recent memory. Certainly the best of this year. The picture shows us at timberline, about 11,500 ft. with a little receding sunlight. It doesn't get much better.
The next day we hiked up Chalk Creek Pass. A visitor suprised us at lunch. It hesitantly approached as Julia shot pictures. She captured the marmot pretty well, I'd say.
One more amazing thing we saw is a collapsing mining structure. This thing was just about to fall on the road! See this and other pics here!
22 July 2008
Julia wanted a story. So I told a story about Rebecca, the miner's daughter, all the way to the summit. The story revolved around an old miner and a harmonica. Of course, the miner taught her how to play it. We took a wrong turn so we didn't see Rebecca's cabin, though. I've seen it in the past on ski tours. We'll have to do another hike to find it or maybe a ski tour when Julia gets older, as it's a tough descent.
The summit, 12,316, is in the background of the picture here. Beautiful day. Lot's of green but not like the green we experienced on our recent trip to Bavaria. It felt great to get high again. Colorado mountains are good too! Peak 12,316 is just south of Vasquez Peak between Berthoud Pass and Jones Pass.
More pics here!