Windom Peak

H I G H   C A M P

Of rain, acclimating on the fly, and getting to the edge of the Chicago Basin.

Not long after we launched up the trail, it began to drizzle.  This wasn't the bone-drenching downpour we experienced on Kit Carson.  In fact, if anything, it served to cool us off.  We were later to discover that we were, in essence, in the equatorial rain forest of Colorado.

At the time, I was unhappy about having to climb without adequate acclimation, and I think we all moved more slowly and painfully as a result.  But as it happens, this ended up having been a strategically smart thing to have done.

Adam's rain poncho here is the same one that saved us on the ridge of Yale in 1999.  And, for all I know, the same one he wore on the way up Oxford/Belford in 1992.  If he could still be driving his 1978 Celica, he would be.

 

Waterfall on our way up the trail.  I think this hike had no less than four really lovely waterfalls, which is a lot by the standards of CO.

 

 

Kenn at one of our many "lunch" stops along the trail (read, acclimating en route).  This is pretty representative of the trail for most of the way to the Basin.

This is our campsite.  We were really just barely at the edge of the Chicago Basin.  We were all pretty thoroughly exhausted, and not interested in hiking any higher than absolutely necessary.

Though Jim hiked up with us, he opted for a more scenic spot by a waterfall a couple hundred yards up the trail.  We picked this spot for its low property taxes and proximity to water.

Rich and Ned setting up their love hut...

This was the view from our campsite.  Not too shabby.  Hang out with this as your wallpaper for a couple of days, and it definitely improves your mood.

One of the waterfalls by which Jim camped.

This was our non-campfire ring.  Chicago Basin is so over-hiked (thanks to its beauty and the novelty of the train) that even with things being relatively lush, to allow the gathering of firewood would leave it looking like a WalMart parking lot in no time.

Even still, we ritually huddle around our stoves (all high tech, these days) and trade stories, which according to Adam, are meant to be told and retold.

Next: Twin Lakes