When we came down from Grand Mesa, it was time that I cleaned up a little bit. After traveling a lot, I’ve gotten pretty adept at not appearing like I’ve gone quite awhile since showering. When I had really short hair, the gas station or fast food hair wash was pretty painless but I still do it because you can only deal with dusty greasy hair so long:
After my McDonald’s bathroom shower, we continued up through Crawford to camp near the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I’d visited the south rim of the canyon before but had never made it around to the north rim. Sunrise on the rim was pretty fantastic.
From Black Canyon, we took Crawford Road to Paonia where we took a quick break for coffee and a breakfast burrito at Nelle’s. (Amanda may be ruined for all other breakfast burritos forever.) We continued up over McClure Pass, taking some time to walk around on top, and then down into Marble. (The marble for the Lincoln Memorial came from here!) Marble was beautiful and I can’t wait to come back and explore some of the jeep roads in the area.
Our next destination was Independence Pass just outside of Aspen. I’d never been in this area and it did not disappoint. I can’t wait to get back and get on some of these peaks.
My clothing for exploring the snowy pass might not have been the most appropriate but maybe I’m just becoming a local?
We decided to camp near the bottom of the pass and return for some sunrise photos in the morning. Our camp was right next to a rushing stream and I slept like a baby with its white noise. It was kind of hard to get up in the morning since I was so cozy but sunrise was amazing and I was glad I was up.
Post photo time, we drove to Leadville and got coffee and then continued on towards Keystone. After dropping my jeep off at our campsite we headed out for a vehicle tour of the area. We drove out through Montezuma:
And then over Loveland Pass and on to Georgetown and up Guanella Pass:
Then I decided that what Amanda was missing on her Colorado adventure was some beer tasting so we checked out Backcountry Brewery in Frisco:
It was quite a whirlwind tour of Colorado but we covered everything from desert to high mesa to canyons to high alpine. Amanda was a great travel partner—Sprocket and I would be happy to travel with her anytime! Finally, I discovered that sleeping in the FSJ with the tailgate window down in early summer temperatures was pretty much the most glorious thing ever: