Mt. Shavano

S u m m e r  2 0 0 6

Or our grand misadventures on the way to re-conquer Tabeguache.

If you're reading one of these for the first time, there is a grand tradition on this crew, stretching all the way back to 19-and-84, when I was but a lad, which consists of driving to Colorado-- even though we're all grown up and can afford plane tickets now. 

Jim (seen at left gleaming beatifically before breakfast in Dumas, TX) is pretty much the only one upholding that tradition with me, although his reasons for doing it are like mine:  It's easier to get back to work afterwards, believe it or not.

The flyers and drivers met up in Salida, CO, at the base of our chosen target, Tabeguache.  We generally shop like a bunch of merry housewives for last minute supplies to further weigh down our packs. 

Here we are having just indulged ourselves:  Darren, with his hand on Kenn's "equipment", Jim looking on in his gardener's hat, and Marc the only one looking halfway civilized.

Oh yeah, and Adam was there, too.  Here are he and Kenn at a microbrewery/wood stove pizzaria in Salida.  This place had an awesome jalapeņo lager.

Jim enjoying the mildly spicy brew.

What better to do after driving all night, drinking beer, and shopping than perhaps, oh, carry 50 lbs on your back for a good pace at around 9000 ft about sea level?  Here we all unenthusiastically are: Kenn, Adam, Jim, Darren, and Marc.  (And yes, my f-ing pack is as painful to wear as it looks.  This was its last year, before literally collapsing under its own weight.)

Our chosen base camp was only about 30 minutes from the trailhead, but probably about 10 minutes of offroading from the trail itself, as we searched out the perfect combination of flat smooth ground (for the tents) near water. 

The place we found fit those criteria, but was a massive mosquito farm, as it happens.  Here Marc is undoubtedly fishing insect repellant out of his gear.

Jim lives in a mindset of general abundance as it relates to mountain provisioning:  He figures that everyone always brings a little bit extra, such that there's no real reason for him to burden his pack with such niceties as food.  Here he is enjoying some of Kenn's Cabernet.

Marc and Adam at base camp.

Next: Trail?  What Trail?