So our morning was off to a great start and we were finally on the road to slay some miles on the trail. We were still pretty bummed that we missed out on an afternoon of hiking the day before, so we had every intention of making up for it on this day. Before we left Denver, we spent days doing online research to narrow down the trail selections. Today we would be doing the Dyke Trail to Dark Canyon Loop, a 6.5 mile hike that was said to have some of the best views of the fall colors. We decided on camping to get away from the city life and work for a couple days, but we also came out here to check out the aspens and the sunrise from that morning had me eager to see what other surprises the Crested Butte area had to offer.
Sundays in the winter are typically reserved for NFL watching, and while Denver has been going through an unseasonably long Indian Summer, we decided to buck our trend of not wasting nice weather. Yep, we were couch potatoes. I usually hate wasting beautiful days and sunny weather, but we’ve been on the move quite a bit this past summer so I say we earned it.
I have a weird relationship with Sundays. On one hand they remind me of my childhood; waking up early, going to church with the fam, getting back and watching PBS (hey we didn’t have cable, okay?) while my mom made Sunday breakfast, watching my dad make coffee, having a very slow paced meal, maybe taking a nap, then all reconvening again to watch the Broncos play. So these days I love it when my Sundays come together like that; having a lazy morning sipping on some coffee while you watch the news or read the paper. It sounds so old fashioned, but I guess now that I’ve gotten older it’s something that I can appreciate. But on the other hand, I also kinda hate Sundays because they are a reminder that the weekend is over and that soon it will be time to get back to the grind. Yesterday we decided to be lazy and just relax.
Okay so maybe we got a tiny bit of cabin fever. After watching the morning and afternoon games (and stuffing our faces with game snacks) Kayla and I got a little restless. So we hopped in the car and decided to go on a drive and made our way to Barnum Park to check out the skyline and watch the sunset. Barnum is great for a view of downtown, but not so much if you want to actually see the sunset, so we decided to high tail it to Mile High Stadium before the light disappeared.
So for those that don’t know me, I work as a contractor for Sports Authority Field working with their Engineering department. I’ve been working on the stadium project for close to two years now, but I’ve never actually taken my camera there. I guess I just feel weird taking my camera when I’m a contractor, I mean Sports Authority Field is paying me to be a consultant and a designer, not someone walking around taking pictures.
Setting up camp in dark is never fun. It always starts with fumbling around with a cell phone flashlight rummaging through your gear box or backpack trying to remember where you put your headlamp. I swear that one of these trips I’m gonna pack smart and put my headlamp in an easy to reach place, not in the bottom of my backpack which is in the back of the trunk. After finally finding my headlamp, setup then progresses to trying to find a suitable site for the tent, but you’re never really sure if the spot your picking is truly flat because, again, it’s dark. You drop the tent stakes, forget where you put the hatchet, a couple eyeballs get blinded by a headlamp beam straight to the face and before you know it you’re seeing spots in an unfamiliar place wishing that you had hit the road earlier and were already sitting by the campfire.
More often than not, I find myself in these sorts of situations. It may sound like I’m complaining, but to tell the truth I’d rather be pitching a tent in the dark of night than wasting time channel surfing or holding down a barstool. Setting up in the dark is what we experienced on Day 1 of our trip; and while we were confident that we had selected a good campsite, the thing is you never really know what you have until you see it in the light of day.
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s gotta be being stuck inside when the weather is nice. I’ve tried to make the most of my weekends and time off this summer by going camping and hiking as often as possible, so now that autumn is in the air, I’m starting to feel this tiny pang of panic that comes with trying to figure out what I’m gonna do once winter hits. Usually during the winter months I go full on hermit mode and hibernate in my apartment watching sports and drinking stouts. I don’t ski or snowboard (I know, a Coloradoan that doesn’t hit the slopes. For shame!), plus I hate the time change that comes with winter. Seriously, what’s so great about one more hour of sleep??? Gimme sunshine, damn it!
Anyway, I digress. With the camping season coming to a close and a good friend having just moved back to Denver, three friends came up with a plan to burn some PTO and head to the hills. I will admit that Fall is not one of my favorite seasons. Its locked in a solid third place behind spring and summer, although it does have a lengthy lead on winter. I guess I just have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that summer is over. The days are getting shorter, things are starting to wilt, and it means I have to start busting out sweaters and jackets. Bleh. But, autumn does has a saving grace, and it comes in the form of football and fall colors. I’m a sucker for a giant patch of yellow, orange, and red aspens; and who doesn’t like NFL Sundays??? (Go Broncos!) So with the leaves turning and Mother Nature gifting us an awesome Indian Summer, it seemed like the perfect time for us to get up in the mountains.