I met Kelly Bitner on the Colorado Trail Thru-Hike 2015 FB page. We have done several practice hikes over the past 3-4 weeks.
Last week, we drove to Pike National Forest in search of Rolling Creek Trail near Bailey, CO with our packs, hiking boots, trekking poles and more. We've noticed we learn something new every time we go out. Hopefully, we will have learned enough by the time we embark on the real thing.
Click on any of the images to view them larger.
Got to the trailhead ... now our first overnight begins.
|Kelly waiting for me to take my photo opp|
|Kelly over the first creek crossing|
Since we got a late start we only hiked about a mile and a half until we set up camp. Set up tents, got our bear bag hung, ate some dinner, and prepared for the night's sleep which totally alluded me! I was lucky to get an unrestful 4 hours.
But before I attempted to sleep, this was the nighttime sky with the moon brightening the view.
|Sunrise on the mountains|
I had a terrible time sleeping. My bag was too tight. I felt like I was in a straight jacket. I was also cold at only 52º! I began to wonder how I was going to make in the mountains at 10,000 - 14,000 ft this summer.
Finally, I strolled over to Kelly's tent and asked, "Are you awake?" She was. After taking our time to pack up, we were on our way for a dayhike with 30+ lbs on our backs.
Delightful little side streams were relatively prevalent.
|Kelly with some cool rock formations|
The sunlight fell on the rock formations making them stand out like soldiers marching.
|Rolling Creek beneath the fallen trees|
Since we were walking beside the creek, which I have neglected to mention should have been named Roaring Creek, not Rolling Creek, we had these lovely views for quite a while. I particularly love the expanse of moss in this image. Looked so inviting.
|Rolling Creek moving fast|
|Quite an incline|
|Kelly took this of me to give some perspective|
|Lunch break and contemplation|
|Creek crossing that stopped us|
I learned after our hike that this is a Calypso Orchid. It was so stunning!
This is where I lost battery power on my phone and of course had forgotten to bring the cord to connect my solar charger! Good thing to add to my list of "do not forgets."
So the following pictures Kelly shared with me. I'm glad I get to remember the rest of our trip through her images.
Due to all the rain we have had recently in Colorado, the new growth on the baby pine trees looked elfin in their light color in comparison to the main part of each tree. The tips of the branches seemed to glow.
Kelly had never seen a mushroom like this. At one time, I knew its name.
|Taking a break next to the creek|
Along the way, I kept seeking animals in the trees stumps, so Kelly took a few pictures.
I see a deer head here. I saw a marmot earlier in the day. But unfortunately, they weren't real.
This one was though. This doe was gorgeous. She was a show stopper as she stared at me for minutes. I'm so glad Kelly saw her too and got this image.
Oh, about the sleeping bag ... I talked to the nice folks at REI and ended up getting a new sleeping bag (Big Agnes Roxy Ann). It only made sense since it's one of this most important pieces of gear!