a day of rain

Friday night I drove down to Denver to stay with Rachel so we could get up early enough to finish Grays and Torreys before the afternoon storms rolled in. When hiking 14ers it's necessary to get an early start so that you get back to your car and not get stuck on the mountainside in a lightning storm. After chatting for awhile, Rachel finally let me go to sleep at about 11.5p. The alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 4.5a (there are very few things that will get me up at that time of morning and it's one of the reasons I haven't done too many 14ers) and we were on the road at 5a.

We arrived at the turnoff to the trailhead much sooner than we thought, which ended up being a good thing since Bessie couldn't go very far up the 3-mile, rutted dirt road. After lots of careful weaving and pretty slow going, we got about a quarter of a mile up the road before we just couldn't go forward any longer. Shockingly, the Honda Civic does not do well offroading. So we turned around, parked back down by the highway and added a total of six miles to our already 8.25-mile trip.

On the way up to the trailhead, we ran into Mr. Connecticut, a guy who had just moved to Denver from, you guessed it, Connecticut. He had only been in the state for a month and had already done six 14ers. I guess I have some catching up to do. While we were hiking up the road we were passed by a ton of cars and when we finally arrived at the trailhead we discovered that the parking lot was full to bursting. I kept calling it the Disneyland of 14ers because the trail was just packed with people. Usually, I don't mind sharing the trail, but usually the crowds seem to thin out and there are stretches when you don't even see anyone. Yesterday it was a pretty solid line the whole way up and the whole way down.

The clouds started rolling in at about 8a, but the weather held out until we got to the summit of Grays, then it started raining. Luckily, it wasn't a downpour, just a sprinkle. And it stayed that way for the rest of the day. However, that was really the only downside to what amounted to a really great day. The R-dog was a super trooper and we summited both peaks without incident. We arrived back at the car around 3p sore, tired and happy with only minimal whining on my part.

More photos


dylan said...

Nice! Too bad the 14'ers are such a circus - I recommend shooting for the plentitude of peaks just under the 14k circus line.

craptastic said...

yeah. really that was the only downer, and it was a minor one. still a great day spent outside and that can't be beat.

::sg:: said...

hey - I'm back from Ireland. I have a postcard for you that I never got the chance to send while I was there. We should get lunch sometime soon. thoughts?

dylan said...

The summit shots of you are good - you have that happy look that only pooped out hikers get.

craptastic said...

i was definitely pooped. and happy.