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Mount Belford & Mount Oxford Loop

Colorado Adventure 2018 | Tuesday, August 7, 2018

After going to bed early on Monday evening I actually slept very well overnight and was wide awake when my alarm went off at 3:30am so I could get an alpine start this morning. I had a quick breakfast and then drove a short distance to the Missouri Gulch Trailhead and was on the trail by 4:00am by the light of my headlamp. The stars above were bright and there was a sliver of the moon just barely visible through the canopy of trees above as I climbed the trail up Missouri Gulch. It was very humid out when I first started hiking but it got progressively colder the higher I climbed. I actually ended up putting my gloves on for a while when I got above treeline before the sun came up. To be honest, when I started this hike I wasn’t very sure if I was in good enough shape to make it to both Mount Belford and Mount Oxford since it would be a long hike with a lot of elevation gain, but I at least hoped I’d make it up to Mount Belford and then would decide what to do when I got up there based on the weather and how I was feeling.

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Oh-Be-Joyful Creek to Blue Lake

Saturday & Sunday, July 14-15, 2018

So far, this seems to be the summer of hiking to places that have been on my to-do list for a very long time (Highland Mary Lakes & The Devils Causeway), so I figured it was finally time to check out Oh-Be-Joyful Creek in the Raggeds Wilderness near Crested Butte. While part of this hike is commonly done as a day trip, we decided to go for a quick and easy overnight backpacking trip up the valley so we could camp near Blue Lake, which is located in the Ruby Range on a ledge nestled below Scarp Ridge and Afley Peak. I was also hoping to climb a nearby peak in the evening or morning, depending on the weather, and maybe catch a nice sunset, too. I had viewed Blue Lake from above a few years ago when I hiked to the high point of Scarp Ridge and have wanted to get a closer look ever since.

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Burro Pass Peaks

La Sal Mountains Peak Bagging | Manns Peak, Mount Tomasaki & Haystack Mountain
Independence Day | Wednesday, July 4, 2018

This year the Fourth of July fell right in the middle of the week and since Diane had to work one holiday this year she chose this one since we wouldn’t be able to plan a big weekend trip around it. I had the day off from work, so I decided to spend the holiday continuing my quest to climb all of the main peaks in the La Sal Mountains near Moab. Not only is the mountain range pretty close to home, but I was also hoping it wouldn’t be as busy as the mountains of Colorado can be during a holiday. I actually started my quest to hike all of the major peaks in the La Sal Mountains two years ago on the Fourth of July weekend with Mount Tukuhnikivatz. Then I continued with Mount Peale (12,721) later that same year. I guess I never made it back last year, so it was definitely time to return again! This time I was planning on hiking a few of the summits in the middle portion of the range near the headwaters of Mill Creek, starting with Manns Peak (12,272) and Mount Tomasaki (12,239) and then going from there depending on how I was feeling afterwards.

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Turkey Flats

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

After work on Tuesday, Diane and I loaded up our bikes and headed up to Piñon Mesa above Glade Park so we could go for a ride on the Turkey Flats Trail and beat the heat in the valley. It was 105 degrees down in the Grand Valley when we left home, but when we reached the Fruita Picnic Area to unload our bikes it was a more comfortable 83 degrees out. This evening we were going to combine the Turkey Flats Trail with 16 1/2 Road and the road that goes to Fruita Reservoir #1 to create a five mile loop. It turned out to be a very nice ride and wasn’t too difficult for us who don’t ride our bikes very often. We passed a few deer along the trail and the mosquitoes were out in full force if we stopped for too long, so we made sure to keep moving. There were also plenty of wildflowers blooming along the trail. Here’s a few photos from our weekday ride.

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Sleepy Cat Peak & The Devils Causeway

A Long Overdue Return to The Flat Tops
Friday – Sunday, June 22-24, 2018

Earlier this year while planning our Memorial Day weekend trip to Dinosaur National Monument, I was scrolling around a map online and it took off on me in the wrong direction and stopped near a mountain called Sleepy Cat Peak (10,853) in the Flat Tops of Colorado. I had never heard of this peak before, but with a name like that I knew we would have to climb it this summer! After looking online for a little bit more information about the peak I found out that it’s actually the 52nd most prominent peak in Colorado with 2,348 feet of prominence. Since this peak is not very high by Colorado standards, we figured it would make a good easy mountain to climb at the beginning of our season this summer to help us start getting back into shape again. Plus, it’s been at least eight years since the last time I visited the Flat Tops, so I’ve been long overdue for a return visit to this area.

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