4th of July weekend! WAHOO! This weekend has been much awaited! We took Nathan and Christin along with us on a journey across Colorado. We drove from Denver, Friday evening, all the way west and south to Ouray, CO. The Switzerland of Colorado.

The tentative plan: Drive to the Ouray-ish area, camp, hike Sneffels, hot springs, Kajer’s house, camp, waterfalls, fireworks, drive home. And seriously, that’s ALL the plan was. No details, no time-lines, nothing set-in-stone. Not much of a plan if you ask me but flying by the seat-of-our-pants is one of my favorite things because as I found this weekend things can turn out more fun than ‘planned’.

We arrived Friday night about midnight and drove towards Box Canyon Falls to find a camping spot close to the trail-head of Sneffels. After driving and driving and driving, we finally found a ‘pay-per-site’ camping area (against Andrew’s religion to pay for camping in the National Forest btw). We were getting soooo tired that the boys woke up the camping host to ask if we could stay even though they were full. The old man with a full beard, half sleeping in his trailer while watching TV came to the door to inform us “I know these signs say there is camping ONLY AT DESIGNATED sites and we’re all full…. but I say buuuuull-shit to that….. make yourselves at home” Alright! So we found a spot marked ‘NO CAMPING PAST THIS SIGN’ nestled right next to the river.

Two things Andrew wakes up early with annoying amounts of energy for: snowboarding and hiking. At 5:30AM Andrew woke us all up to get our booties out of bed and hiking clothes on! The trip up Mt. Sneffels began.

We took the Equinox up the road (gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous drive) to the trail-head of Mt Sneffels. Eeki (the Equinox) couldn’t exactly make it very far so we parked in the first lot we found (at 11,350) and started the hike. This 14er was unlike any I have done thus far. The scenery alone was breathtaking and the hike… phew – a little tough. We started up the beast at 7am and got back down at 1:30pm. The hike was straight up and quit the calf burner. We took about a 30 min break close to the top because we couldn’t find the right path. Luckily, as we were about to turn back down, a local mountain man came to the rescue and helped us find our way up the last 500 ft or so. The top was extraordinary….Telluride to the southwest, Ridgeway to the north and clear views of Blue Lakes, Wilson Peak (better know as the mountains on the Coors can), Uncompaghre, and several 13ers.

When we got back to the car we pulled out the grill, turned up the music and celebrated our feat. It was Christin’s first 14er and man did she rock it (did better than me anyway)! It was an incredible hike – probably the first 14er I would consider repeating……


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