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Southern Sawatch: Antora Meadows & Windy Point

Friday, September 2, 2022

After spending the night next to the rushing waters of Willow Creek, I actually slept in past sunrise for a change since I had already climbed Parkview Mountain the evening before and had no other plans for first thing in the morning. Today I was going to be driving a couple hours to the very southern tip of the Sawatch Range where I had originally planned to spend the rest of the weekend. However, after driving south through Silverthorne, Leadville, Buena Vista and then over Poncha Pass to Bonanza, I just wasn’t feeling like I was into the trip anymore and decided I would probably be heading home later today instead.

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Fire Lookouts Extravaganza in the Rocky Mountains

Tuesday – Thursday, August 30 – September 1, 2022

Since I was going to be hiking in the Snowy Range while staying for two nights at the Spruce Mountain Fire Lookout Tower in the Medicine Bow Mountains of Wyoming, I thought it would be fun to spend some of my time visiting other Fire Lookouts and Towers that are still standing in the surrounding area. Below are a couple photos from each of the four other lookouts that I visited which include Jay’s Roost, Kennaday Peak Lookout, Blackhall Mountain Lookout and the Deadman Lookout Tower in Colorado. I haven’t really spent any time in these mountain ranges along the border of Colorado and Wyoming before (my closest foray up until this trip was to Hahns Peak), so checking out these lookouts was a great introduction to the area.

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Weminuche Wanderings: Lime Mesa to Overlook Point

Mountain View Crest of the Weminuche Wilderness
Friday – Saturday, August 26-27, 2022

Since I was going to be leaving after work on Monday afternoon for a weeklong trip into northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, I wanted to be home on Sunday to make sure that I was prepped and packed for the trip, so that left me with only one day this weekend to get out hiking. My plans for last weekend had been thwarted by stormy weather in the high country, so I decided to retry part of those plans with a short hike into the Weminuche Wilderness from the end of the road on Lime Mesa between Silverton and Durango. As usual, I left right from work on Friday afternoon and headed south on the Million Dollar Highway and was able to watch the most recent storm system clearing out as I drove over Red Mountain Pass, Molas Pass and Coal Bank Pass through the heart of the San Juan Mountains. After reaching the very northern tip of the Animas River Valley I headed up the Missionary Ridge Road in search of a campsite to spend the night.

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The Summertime Blues: Hiking the Abajo Mountains

Three Directions in the Blue Mountains | Friday – Sunday, August 5-7, 2022

This past week I had been struggling to decide where I wanted to go this weekend as I continually watched the weather forecasts for the mountains since all of them were calling for a large monsoonal surge to enter Colorado which was supposed to create a lot of rain and thunderstorms throughout the high country of the state. On Thursday I decided to look outside of Colorado to the Abajo Mountains, locally known as the Blue Mountains, which had a much milder weather outlook for the weekend, so that’s where I decided to go. As luck would have it, on Friday all the weather forecasters changed their tune about the stormy weather in Colorado for the weekend, but by then I had already set my mind on heading up into the Abajos, plus it has been a while since I did any hiking in this small laccolithic range, so now I was looking forward to getting back!

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Hagerman Pass and the Colorado Midland Railway

Wednesday – Saturday, July 27-30, 2022

This Thursday and Friday I was going to be attending the GIS Colorado Summer Meetup which was being held at Turquoise Lake near Leadville and then I planned to spend the rest of the weekend exploring the surrounding area. I was hoping to get plenty of hiking in during the evenings and over the weekend, but that didn’t end up happening and I spent most of the time meeting new people and relaxing around camp, which was a nice change of pace. Although the weather forecast had been calling for a wet and stormy couple of days at the end of the week, we didn’t see much rain at the campground, but it was still overcast and cloudy much of the time. These are some photos I took over the days I was in the area.

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