Hope everyone has survived the Tuesday after Labor Day. We got back yesterday afternoon from a fun and exhausting adventure in the Flat Tops Wilderness. David and I joined three of his co-workers for a 3-day, 2-night trip.
We began our trip on Friday night when we drove up to the mountains. David and I drove with Shrek and Zoey with the other (3 humans and 1 dog) rode separately. One of his coworkers’ parents have a house near Vail with plenty of room to sleep all of us. We did not arrive until 10 or so because we wanted to avoid all traffic heading towards the mountains on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend.
We slept well in a nice bed that night before getting up, eating a filling breakfast of toast, eggs, and sausage and packing our bags. We knew our Saturday hike would only be 6-8 miles so we did not need to get too early of a start. After a quick stop at a supermarket for some last minute food, we were off!
The Flat Tops Wilderness is in northwest Colorado, an area I have not explored too much. From where we stayed near Vail, it was a little over an hour drive northwest. The area is most known for the Devil’s Causeway, a very narrow strip of rock with a straight fall on either side. We knew about this and had decided ahead of time that going over it with our packs and 3 dogs would not be a smart decision. But we got to hike around it and see it.
We knew the first few miles of our Saturday hike would take us up a 11,000 ft pass near the causeway, so we were prepared for an uphill hike for the first few miles. After that, we were going downhill to a series of lakes. The hike up was intense, but we were all so excited to be out there that we barely felt it. We got to the pass where we stopped to eat lunch. One of our people make a quick climb to see what the causeway looked like from above. He came back and confirmed that it looked difficult to do with dogs.
We finished lunch and continued on. The downhills felt great and we were flying with time. After 6 miles, we got to one lake that could be a possibility for camping. But it was only 4 in the afternoon and we felt we could go on. The best part was that once we were away from the causeway (the thing most people come to Flat Tops to see) was that we saw no one at all for the rest of the afternoon. We were completely away from people.
We ended up stopping at Long Lake, about 8 miles into our trip. There was plenty of space for 3 tents and lots of water nearby. After a brief shower of rain where we all huddled in one tent and ate an appetizer of cheese and summer sausage, the rain was done and we were ready for a pasta + veggie dinner. I brought a lot of my garden veggies (tomatoes and squash) and was glad to get rid of the extra weight the first night.
We played some games in the tent and were then ready to sleep. Throughout the night, I could hear sprinkles of rain on the tent. It did not seem too bad, but by early morning, the sprinkles had turned into a light shower. There is nothing worse than taking a tent down in the rain so we all stayed in our tents longer than we anticipated. I did not mind the extra rest, but it turns out we could have used the extra hours later that day.
To Be Continued….