Sunday, April 10, 2011

Denver Surgery, Vapor Cave, Roof Rack Incident & Hanging Lake Hike

Last Monday, we headed back to Denver area for Greg to have a cyst from his ear, which went well. I actually enjoyed the day he was drugged up and slowed down.  After 2.5 weeks in central CO area, we headed south and west with a quick stop in Glenwood Springs. I went to Yamaha Vapor Caves, which is a natural cave at 125 deg! I have never sweated so much so quickly. While in there, I thought of all the water use going on as we dumped and splashed water on our heads and bodies :(

We couch surfed with Jackie, a 27 yr old high school teacher who truly cares and loves her job, in a rural area b/w Carbondale and Basalt. It was more country feeling that my parent’s PA country house with muddy roads and old abandoned-like farms. It was pretty cool but would not be able to live this remotely. Originally we wanted to couch surf with Dan W. in Carbondale because he had an old ski bus one could sleep in but he was all full up with friends ending the ski season and employment.  

Our main reason for staying here was to visit Maroon Lake, which is one of the most photographed places in CO, but the road was still closed due to snow.  Therefore, we opted for a hike to Hanging Lake. Then planned on another short hike, Mushroom Rock, and check out Aspen. On the way to the hike, on a windy turn, one of the heavy weighted roof racks (newer but cheaply made one) flew off the jeep.  Luckily there was no one else on the road and it did not skid down the mt. We dragged it back to the jeep, when Greg should not be carrying anything over 10 lbs for a few weeks after surgery. The top got cracked up badly and even one of our sleeping pads got ripped.

Greg got some crazy glue and duct tape it up. We got in touch with Dan W., who let us use his drill while he was not even home. Greg reinforced the rack with new bolts etc, to avoid future runoffs.  To lighten the load, Greg shipped home 42 lbs of gear that he no longer needs.

After a few hours, we at least got to do the 1.2 mile one-way steep hike to Hanging Lake, with about 1,000 ft elevation gain, starting at 6,000 ft. Man, I wonder how different CO must look in the summer and easier these hikes are w/o snow and ice. At the top there was the beautiful clear blue lake; I felt like I was in Switzerland with the snow-cap mountains and canyons surrounding us. Click here for lots of pix.

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