#hikerchat Sunset Adventure: Lake Blanche

While I was at the Outdoor Retailer Show, I received a last minute invitation to join in on a sunset #hikerchat adventure to Lake Blanche. Never one to turn down a hike, I heartily accepted the invitation.

Photo courtesy Teton Sports
Photo courtesy Teton Sports

This was not a hike I was super prepared for. I didn’t have a warm layer for after dark, my headlamp was in a different pack, and I certainly hadn’t prepared for a late-late dinner. (I also didn’t have a camera so all my photos are courtesy my hiking buddies.) Really, it didn’t matter all that much. It was a gorgeous hike and I was happy to have met a bunch of great people.

Photo Courtesy Worth Baker
Photo Courtesy Worth Baker

With a group our size, we didn’t make amazing time up the trail but we did arrive at the lake just in time to take in the last bits of sun through the SLC smog. Along the way, I chatted with Jordan about an epic traverse of the basin rim he’d done recently—I can definitely see more adventure with him in the 3Up future!

Photo courtesy Worth Baker
Photo courtesy Worth Baker
Photo courtesy Tanya Sylvan
Photo courtesy Tanya Sylvan

As we left the lake, I jumped into the lead. The moon was bright and I had a sneaking suspicion I could make it quite awhile before I had to accept one of the flash lights being offered to me as long as I didn’t get blinded by the artificial lights of others. Eventually it became a challenge to make it down the whole way—I totally succeeded! It was late before we were all back at the trailhead and headed back to town. I wrapped up the evening with a midnight diner dinner with Josh, Jordan, Adam N., and ThatOutdoorGuy Adam. This pretty much sums up our dinner:

Photo courtesy Hiking The Trail
Photo courtesy Hiking The Trail

Thanks to American Backcountry and Teton Sports for sponsoring the hike! I had a blast.

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Millcreek Canyon, Utah

F, SP, and I took a short break from the Outdoor Retailer Show on Friday morning to do a short hike with an old friend of F’s. (Hi Jen!) We wanted to keep the hike short and Sprocket friendly since he’d been cooped up a bit during the show.* We wondered around the lower part of Millcreek Canyon a bit and enjoyed the sunshine.

Mill Creek Hike

Sprocket in mine cave

Mill Creek Hike

Mill Creek Hike

*We owe tons of thanks to Josh for letting him hang out at his house, to Josh’s roommate and Aleya for letting him outside during the day, and to Katie, Laurie, Adam, and Kristie for all the loves.

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Twin Peaks Trail

While catching up on the internet at the coffee shop, this tweet came across my news feed:

Obviously, I knew exactly where Katie should come in the San Juans: Ridgway!

When she and her friend Heather arrived, we were all set on hiking but it was 2pm and there were a few threatening storm clouds hovering over the Cimarrons ruling out Courthouse Mountain and any high peaks in the Sneffels range so we decided to go up to Ouray and hike the Perimeter Trail.

As we passed the Old Twin Peaks trailhead, we abandoned all plans of the Perimeter trail instead deciding to head up. We didn’t go to the summit, instead heading down the Twin Peaks trail enjoying the views the whole way. The rain held off until the very end of our hike. It was so lovely to be outdoors with a couple of ladies who love the outdoors as much as I do. (Katie teased me just a little bit about always taking longer hikes than we planned…)

Now, who’s going to come hike to the summit with me?

Ouray from Old Twin Peaks Trail

Old Twin Peaks Trail

Old Twin Peaks Trail

Twin Peaks Trail

Views from Twin Peaks trail

Twin Peaks

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Rocky Mountain Thunderstorm

Just after we got back to Ridgway, we picked up and drove further east to Colorado Springs to pick up a motorcycle. On the way back, we stopped along the Arkansas River for a stretch break. As we were preparing to head out, thunder started to rumble in the distance. We soon found ourselves driving into the middle of a huge storm!

Thunderstorm, Bighorn Canyon, US-50

The sudden rain had water and silt washing across the roads but also had formed waterfalls coming off of the cliffs:

Cliff waterfalls. Bighorn Canyon, Colorado. US-50

Cliff waterfalls.

Water over roadway

Small debris flow

When we’d passed alongside the Arkansas the day before, it was running crystal clear. Now the geeky scientist in me really want to run a TSS (total suspended solids) sample!

Arkansas River and tributary

Rafters taking cover

Arkansas River

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