Another busy travel weekend

While we may not be traveling overseas, my husband and I have been busy visiting some scenic spots around Colorado. This last weekend we were down in the San Juan Mountains. It was a very last minute trip, but we really enjoyed it.

My brother messaged me through his GPS. He was about 2/3 of the way through his Colorado Trail hike and wanted to see if I could get a room for him in Lake City (thru hikers plan “zero” days to get resupplied and do laundry). Since he had no cell signal, he hoped I would be able to find a room. Lake City is really a very small town with few places to stay – mostly cabins. I managed to find a 2 bedroom cabin. So my husband and I thought, what the heck, let’s go down and see him. My husband quickly planned a hike up two of the nearby 14,000 foot peaks, Redcloud and Sunshine.

The area is very scenic but a long way from Denver. About five hours. Traffic was super heavy as they are detouring traffic off I-70 due to one of the four fires raging in our state. But it was worth the drive. I drove my husband to the trailhead on a narrow mountain road the next day. Only 18 miles, but the last three miles were rough and part was right on the edge of a mountain!! It took 50 minutes one way. But I made it.

The trip back to Denver on Sunday took even longer. We decided to go a different route because Google maps told us it was quicker. Well, bad choice. They had to close down the road and we had to do a one-hour detour. We found out the next day that a motorcycle hit a pickup, flipped over, hit another car, which in turn hit another car. The two on the motorcycle were killed. So sad.

Oh, and my car got broken into by a hear! Not kidding. But I’ll save that story for tomorrow. My car is fine, but I do want to share the story in its entirety.

Trailhead to Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks
Heading up to trailhead. The road is not bad yet
Now things are starting to get fun!
Sending my brother off again. See ya in Durango!
Headwaters of the Rio Grande

Colorado forest fires creating horrible air conditions

Colorado has two forest fires burning in western Colorado right now, the Pine Gulch fire near Grand Junction and the Grizzly Creek fire near Glenwood Springs. Neither are close to me but you wouldn’t know it by the air quality. I usually sleep with my window open, but my room smelled like a campground this morning. It was so bad that I didn’t even go outside like I usually do to drink my morning coffee.

In addition, the Grizzly Creek fire has closed I-70, the major east-west interstate through Colorado, at Glenwood Springs. Yes, you can still get to the major mountain resorts if traveling through Denver, but if you’re going further west to Utah, you will be affected. In addition, the scenic Independence Pass road is closed (CO-82). A lot of people were taking this as a bypass, but this road is not designed for heavy traffic. I was just there 2 weeks ago and can attest to that. In fact, I saw a pop-up trailer that went over the side of the road at one point (but no car!)

Independence Pass
independence Pass, selfie time

The only good in these fires is that they do make for interesting sunsets.

Smoky sunset
Sun setting over Front Range