Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Walk in the...

Woods, except only harder and wetter. 

Former firefighter colleague Doug M and I decided to backpack a stretch of the Eagles Nest Wilderness. I'll admit our trip research was on the mild side. We're just TOO BUSY! 

Our planning went like this:

Me: "Doug? See that Cataract Trailhead on the north side of the Eagles Nest map?

Doug: "Uh-huh."

Me: "Let's start there and go south to Boulder Creek Trailhead. I guess we'll stop at a few lakes along the way." 

Doug: "OK! See you on the 27th." 

Not exactly Lewis and Clark inspirational. Is it? 

After shuttling vehicles to the trailheads, we gathered our packs and started up. The forecast for our ramble was in the 80%-90% dicey to damp range. There was a 100% chance of mosquitos. 

Most of our journey would be on the misnamed Gore Range Trail. From our tree-lined avenue the spiky, formidable and rugged mountain range was a distant rumor. We caught tantalizing glimpses of the Gore's every few miles. Then the pines and aspens would close in on us once again. The trail itself was an obstacle course. We had to hurdle over truckloads of downed timber. There was some crawling involved as well. (That really sucked for the 6'4" Tall Texan). Progress was slow and tedious.

Then the rains came. We lost our Mojo. A four night backpack trip became half of that. We met our goals of walking from Point A to Point B. 

But Hey! We were in the Great Outdoors and not working! Doug caught me up on the latest Poudre Fire Authority gossip. His straight talk made me bless the fact I'm still gainfully unemployed. Life is better in retirement. I dare say a wonderful time was had by all. 

Now a Colorado History Lesson: The Gore Range was named in dubious honor for Sir George Gore, an Irish Baronet. In 1854, Gore hired the mythical Mountain Man Jim Bridger to lead him through central Colorado and beyond. His Mission? Murder and mayhem for thousands of large scale wildlife type animals. His entourage consisted of 
30 heavily laden wagons and 50 servants. The Baronet wasn't a big believer in "Leave no trace" Wilderness ethics. It was more like "Thread heavily." I betcha he didn't even burn his toilet paper. Goes to show you, anyone can have a scenic mountain range named after them. Go figure.

Cheers from cool and cloudy Buena Vista, Colorado 
Hark! Is that an Happy Hour IPA I hear calling my name?
Yes! It is. 


  1. Great lead-in to another adventure story. What a doozy of an experience this one was !! The obstacle course was bad enough, but to be followed by the rains, well you guys did not deserve that. Glad to see you both got through it with enough energy left to eek out a smile :=)