Getting high in Colorado can mean different things.

Writing from 8,200 feet/2,500 meters is what I’m talking about.

August 21-23 we found a beautiful but hazy spot to spend my birthday weekend.

Ray asked what I wanted for my birthday. I said I want to be nestled in the woods where it’s cool. We set off for the mountains on Friday morning and had four campgrounds in mind. Why? Because all of the campgrounds in our area—which also happen to be on the San Juan Skyway—were reserved except the first-come, first serve spots. We were about to embark on an adventure. First stop: Matterhorn just south of Telluride, full. Then we came across Sunshine campground, which was new to us and was a beautiful place, full. But they had a sign that said we might be able to stay at Lizard Head Pass—where we have stayed before—or Woods Lake. The sign said the turnoff to Woods Lake was 14 miles ahead. What the sign didn’t say was the actual campground was another 8 miles on an unpaved road with switchbacks after the turn off the highway. The gas station we passed along the way was $2.79 a gallon. In hindsight, we should have stopped. Once we turned onto Full Creek Road, we lost cell service and we didn’t know how far away the campground was and if there were even any campsites available.

Does Flo look level to you?
I swear it felt like we were sleeping with our feet above our heads.

After two loops around the campground, we finally got our site. We jacked Flo to what seemed to be level. Note to self: bring a level next time.

Nestled in the Aspen, I got settled in my hammock right after we arrived. The high-mountain air has a haze because of the fires in Grand Junction. But other than that, the weather is beautiful—under 80F/26C degrees, just how I like it.

What’s this? Frisbee golf target?
There was only one so likely not. Does the hitching post in the background serve as a clue?

We moseyed over to the campground where they allowed horses. It was a beautiful site. It appears to be set up as a hunt camp too. A couple of dogs followed us for a bit. Not that it’s really of importance except that the next morning the dogs decided to visit our camp and everyone else’s. After the lady in the campsite across from us made a ruckus, I went and got them and took them back to their site since I knew where they belonged.

My birthday was just as I had hoped for. We started the day with a hike around the west side of the lake where we enjoyed walking through the woods and admired the Aspen, Spruce and Balsam Fir.

Then it was back to camp for a little R&R in our hammocks. I got Ray set up in his and hopefully got him hooked.

We found a nice shady spot in the Aspen. The key is finding big enough trees far enough apart with enough space between.

Then after dinner, we took another hike on the east side of the lake and found the outlet. The lake featured Colorado Cutthroat Trout.

After an early morning rise, we made our way to Gawkie’s for our weekly breakfast ritual. Then napped the afternoon away. That time between nap and bedtime was spent researching more campsites in Colorado through the fall. We hope to be writing again next month from the road.


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