As we prepare to head across the pond, return to Portugal and meet our annual visa requirements, I took a break from work to ascend into the Rocky Mountains one last time before departing.
I got lucky with a break in the unusually hot weather in the mountains choosing a beautiful day with some cooling cloud cover.
Last summer, I put many miles on my Oboz hiking boots and will miss it and then this year. Last week, the Colorado wildflowers were just starting to appear from their winter slumber and the high altitude snowpack was still receding.
We chose the Meadow Creek trail to Eccles pass just outside of Frisco which ascends quickly through forest and alongside the creek. An over application of sunscreen on my forehead had me squinting and rinsing out my eyes frequently as the cooler but not cool day caused my sweat to drain it into my eyes like a wild stampede. Despite this, it was a beautiful trail which opened into meadows, alongside the aptly named meadow creek and across mosquito filled (yes, mosquitos in Colorado) bogs.
About half way, we lost the trail and had to barefoot it across a colder than comfortable creek but it was worth it as we continued to ascend through high alpine meadows to reach the top with stunning views of Breckinridge, the Gore Range and beyond. We never did determine where the real trail was, choosing a less wide part of the creek for our return descent. Fortunately, we had read a review in advance depicting a similar experience or else we may never have reached the views at the top.
If all goes as planned, we will miss the wildflowers, summer days and fading greens to gold of fall in Colorado but instead will enjoy the coastline and mountains of Portugal.
Tchau Colorado, until we meet again.