We did get to drive right through some of the wildfires on the way into Medano...was pretty surreal. Both sides of the road were completely burned out, with firefighters and choppers dumping water everywhere. You can see a helicopter in far right of below pic. Entire mountainside was on fire.
Part of the deal with the wife was to always jump back into civilization, so the next day we headed into Salida for food and beer, and hung out downtown for a while. Headwaters of the Arkansas River are near salida, and the river flows right through downtown. There is a park on the river, with lots of cool shops and bars within walking distance. Had a great time.
That night was spent in an AirBnb south of town, a tiny house cabin. Brandon and John camped down the hill. Views did not disappoint.
Next morning we headed west over Monarch Pass and into Gunnison, and met up with Tom and Ben, making the group 5 trucks. Destination was the hills north of Lake City. 11 miles off pavement, found a completely isolated spot for the night looking over a huge valley. Made camp early and relaxed.
Obligatory skottle pic. Have to say this was one of the better spots we have ever cooked breakfast...
Next morning was a late one, everyone slept in and we headed out after 10. Stopped in Lake City for a great lunch, some fishing licenses and lures, and a food restock. Bout an hour south of town we hit dirt again, this time onto Stony Pass, which drops you into Silverton on the western side.
Stony pass follows the Rio Grande up into the mountains, all the way to the headwaters. We found a great camping spot about 6 miles south of the pass. John and i did a little fishing..didn't catch anything, but sh*t who cares at this point. Fly fishing at 12k feet on a 70* sunny day 1500 miles from S-Town is always a good day in my book. PS Lou's Full Serv hat always on point.
Next three days were spent in Silverton, Ouray, Telluride, and surrounding country, dropping into the 100s in the Hills event daily and in the evenings. I've been attending HiH for 6 years...Stan and Chris have turned it into a really great event. We didn't camp at the campground (had a hotel) but we spent a lot of time with everyone there, had a ball.
I led a group up to Clear Lake and another more remote trail on Saturday, and had a great time. Clear Lake is awesome, i try to go every year.
My only fish...he cost me $60 in licenses and bait, but it was worth it.
Awesome Andy great pics. Salida is a cool town, I had a buddy move there from Ar. So I’ve spent a little time there. Man I miss the lake city, Ouray area I need to get back. Thanks for the write up, where did the trailer go ?