Sunday, September 14, 2008

A day on Mt. Yale

One of the views from on top of Mt. Yale.

Since all of the hotels in Buena Vista were booked on Friday night, Scott and I agreed to sleep in the back of Scott's not-so-big Jeep in the parking lot of the Denny Creek trailhead before heading up Mt. Yale on Saturday morning. We were expecting some rain that night, otherwise we would have hiked a ways up the trail and camped instead of spending the night in the car. That would have been smart -- the night outside was crystal clear and beautiful. But, in the car, the night was pretty much restless. Scott had failed to pack his hatchet, which I planned to use as a weapon against any person who might try to break into the Jeep in the middle of the night. You see, I've never slept in a car in a parking lot before. Actually, I've never slept in a parked car before. Except in my parents' garage when I was a baby.

We bedded down around 8:30 Friday night and were disturbed several times during the night when people pulled in the lot to start their hikes at insane hours. When the first person parked near us around 10pm, I woke with a start and got my first shot of adrenaline. I wiped a one square inch bit of the window to free it from fog and watched the people outside lumbering around in their headlamps before they headed for the trail. Libbie's constant growling didn't really help my heart beat any more slowly. Then at 10:30 we went through it all again. And a few more times until I was finally asleep at 4:30 when a big truck pulled in with a horse trailer, unloaded the horses and headed up the trail. Now Libbie was growling and barking, but somehow I managed to sleep through it.

At 5:30 when I started to wake up, I'd apparently run out of adrenaline for a while and had nothin' to help me get up the trail. I was s-l-o-w. And Libbie was trying to pull me up the trail by her leash. Scott was more understanding than Libbie and let me take my time. You see, three weeks after Callie was born I attempted Mt. Yale and had to turn around at about 11,000 feet. The summit is around 14,200. I wasn't even close. Scott was determined to get me up there this time. Although we did not do it in record time, and although we had to summit separately since the ridge trail was not suitable for Libbie, we did make it up. And back. And all the way home. And I even got to spend five minutes walking around my favorite new Colorado neighborhood, South Main. Oh, to live in the wonderland of Buena Vista. If Colorado is the greatest place on earth to call home (and Scott and I believe it could be), then Buena Vista is like heaven. Minutes from 14ers, kayaking, biking, hot springs, hikes out your back door, and an hour from's an amazing place.

Click on the slideshow below to take you to an album from our day on Mt. Yale.

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