All posts for the month July, 2011

On to Ouray


We got up on Monday with Pike’s Peak and on to Silverton for the agenda. Pike’s Peak is 14,110 ft high and famous for being the first fourteener encountered when coming west.[singlepic id=39 w=320 h=240 float=right]The entrance to the park stated the temperature was 37 at the summit, so I was glad I put on my long sleeve shirt with my shorts. The views going up were amazing.[singlepic id=36 w=320 h=240 float=left] I’m not sure whether it was the thin air at 14,000 ft or the insane views, but was not comfortable driving up there. I accumulated a long line of vehicles behind our jeep going up because I wouldn’t go faster than 15 mph. We made it to the summit and it was truly difficult to breath.[singlepic id=41 w=320 h=240 float=right]

We headed down the mountain and turned west towards Divide, CO then on to Buena Vista. After leaving the small town of Divide, we dropped down to a high mesa and the views just kept getting better. On to Buena Vista, then down to Poncha Springs, then over Monarch Pass where it snowed on us coming down the western side.[singlepic id=35 w=320 h=240 float=right] We headed into Gunnison, CO then turned south to Lake City. Along the way, we stopped at a spot along the Gunnison river and man was it full! I got a beautiful picture of my beautiful daughter.[singlepic id=33 w=320 h=240 float=left]

Morning Hike


I woke up about 0500 hrs ready to go. Although the time zone is MST, my internal clock is still on EST. I decided to go on a hike to the top of some rocks that were on a nearby ridge.[singlepic id=31 w=320 h=240 float=right]After climbing a few hundred feet, I had to stop to take a picture of the boulder field I was going to have to climb in order to get to the top.[singlepic id=29 w=320 h=240 float=left]On the other side of the boulder field was a clearing (too small to be considered a meadow) that would have made an excellent camping spot. I stopped to take a picture of the view through the trees.[singlepic id=25 w=320 h=240 float=right]The view from the top was worth the hike. I could see forever and got there in time to catch the morning sun coming over the eastern ridge.[singlepic id=27 w=320 h=240 float=left] Our camp was at 8,140 feet and the top of the rocks was 8,630 feet.[singlepic id=26 w=320 h=240 float=right]

Here we go


The Jeep was packed and we left out by 0830 hrs. We made it to Mark’s at 1230 hrs after stopping at a tire place to get the front tires balanced. After getting the tires rotated the day before the trip, the front end developed a nice little wobble between 50 and 55 mph. After having lunch with Mark, we took off headed towards Lexington, KY. Andie saw a sign for her sister[singlepic id=15 w=320 h=240 float=center] We blew through Lexington and set our sights on St. Louis, MO. It turned dark on us and the rain started falling in Indiana, right before we crossed the Illinois state line. It rained on us all the way through Illinois. We rolled into St. Louis around midnight and stopped to stare at the Arch. We got a pretty good picture of the Cardinals stadium. Being in Missouri, we gained an hour on the time and wanted to keep going. We rolled over the “Big Muddy” amidst flood warnings and stopped at a rest area on I-70 on the Kansas City side.

Andie was thoroughly underwhelmed at the nothingness in Kansas.[singlepic id=12 w=320 h=240 float=left]After leaving Kansas City, the road west kept climbing in altitude and the semblance of life here on earth kept fading. I think the spork that Mark gave Andie was the only thing that kept her awake. She kept thinking about pictures to take with the spork.[singlepic id=16 w=320 h=240 float=right]

We finally trudged our way across Kansas and headed to Limon, CO. Heading into a huge storm in Limon, we decided to turn southwest towards Colorado Springs. We got excited when we saw the front range at about 60 miles out.[singlepic id=21 w=320 h=240 float=left] We ended up camping with a JeepForum buddy, Raynmaker and his family. We had an AWESOME time. It was a great welcome to Colorado.[singlepic id=14 w=320 h=240 float=left]

On the road


This is the first opportunity to post anything since leaving out Thursday morning. Andie and I made a “mad dash” across the US from NC to CO. [singlepic id=8 w=320 h=240 float=right]We stopped in TN along the way and my brother Mark let me borrow some much needed camping equipment; I don’t car camp so I didn’t have all the equipment I should have had. We spent the afternoon with him, then headed out for St. Louis, MO.[singlepic id=9 w=320 h=240 float=left]