Saturday, August 29, 2015

Feifel, Weilin and Simon's visit to Boulder

Emerald Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Top of Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park

Settlers Park, Boulder

Chautauqua Park, Boulder

Monday, August 17, 2015

Backpacking in Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park

We took our annual backpacking trip in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park last week. It was gorgeous; not a whole lot of rain; tons of wildflowers. Thunder Lake is 6-7 miles from the trailhead.

We went halfway, up to the North St Vrain campsites and set up camp. We finished setting up camp around 1:30pm, lay down on our freshly inflated mattresses and all fell asleep for a couple hours. The next morning we dragged our sorry butts up to Thunder Lake. Sleeping on the ground is getting too difficult for me, even with the inflatable mattress. I walk like a 90-year old man for several hours while my back tries to click back into place.

The mosquitoes tried to carry me away so I had to wear a headnet. Still got bitten on both eyes however and my right eyelid was pretty swollen:

Here's Leo at Thunder Lake

We fished several times with Greg's fancy flies, and the fish bit, but they didn't stay on the hook. You have to use barbless hooks and we didn't know how to land the fish.

There's a gorgeous, warm, not windy meadow in front of the lake:

Our attempt at a family photo:

And one where we don't look like a volcano is about to erupt on us:

This is the west end of the lake. The Continental Divide is the top of these ridges. You can see a scree field next to an ice field on the left hand side. We tried to go up that to get to the Divide. Bad idea. The scree was super loose and dangerous. When we got to the top of the ice field, we decided it was too hard to cross it and came back down. It was a full morning adventure.

The bottom of the scree field was fun:

Here it was pretty dicey. At the top it was a 50 degree slope.

We had a snack at the top of the ice field, in a rock overhang.

Then I managed to walk smack into the rock overhang and land flat on my back. I'm not sure why this trip conspired to beat me up so.

Anyway, we went back down to Thunder Lake, found a steep rocky trail and went up to the Lake of Many Winds, which was super windy:

We got a bit crazy up there with the thunder and stormy skies:

Above my head in the above picture you can see to the right of the ice field a narrow chute. Climbing up to the Divide involves scampering up the chute. Looked doable but sketchy and it was afternoon at this point with thunderous clouds and we headed back. Next time!

Deer lived at our campsite:

Unfortunately, we headed back down the next day because Leo had stomach cramps. Long day getting back, but he's better now.