Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top of the world

Remember my mention of 14ers in my previous post? Well, today we made it to the top of one of the tallest peaks in the Rockies!

Here is Jonathan's account:
The day started with breakfast at Rick and Sharon's house, a delicious power smoothie, coffee, and granola. We sat in the morning sunshine, chatted cheerily, and enjoyed the broad view of the Colorado plains before us, the mighty mountains rising in the near distance. Then we piled into a red Jeep and headed toward Mt. Antero, drawn by that instinctive need to climb, conquer, and surmount!

The road led us into San Isabel National Forest, and then turned to gravel. After driving a while, Paul (Rick and Sharon's mountaineering friend who owned the Jeep) made a sharp turn from the relatively smooth dirt road onto Baldwin Gulch, a rock-strewn path that immediately launched us into the air and continued jolting us along for the next hour as the Jeep slowly crawled its way up the mountain. Paul must have seen a bit of consternation on our faces, because he assured us that Baldwin Gulch was practically a "highway" compared to the some of the tougher trails that the Jeep had handled in the past (although he did mention ripping loose an engine mount that time). And indeed, the Jeep handled the road just fine.

The scenery along the way was incredible. For a brief few days each year, Colorado's famous aspens salute the autumn with a brilliant golden show, and our trip happily coincided with this magnificent display.
(end Jonathan narrative)

We spent maybe a half hour at the top, taking pictures and absorbing the view. Then we climbed back down, hopped back into the Jeep, and jolted our way back down the mountain. After a brief detour in a ghost town, we landed in Coyote Grill in Buena Vista for Mexican food and great conversation. The evening wrapped up with Tom playing piano and a picture show for Sharon of the photos we'd captured from the day.

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