Thursday was the Epic Hiking Day. We headed up to Maroon Lake which was just a mile or so from where we were camping and explored the wilderness for a bit. We hiked and hiked and ate some lunch and hiked some more. This place was B-E-A-UTFUL. Seriously disgustingly scenic. There are a couple lakes up there that are just punch yourself pretty, and of course, they're filled by waterfalls and streams of crystal clear snow melt coming down from the mountains. Those things are also not bad looking.
This right here. These streams aren't always around, while the snow is all frozen up top and once the snow completely melts they disappear, so I'm guessing hikers/park rangers kind of had to improvise to get across the rather fast moving water. So someone piled a couple of logs together, boom, bridge. Totally unstable and bouncy but very cool and functional if you're careful. We crossed over it the first time without any issue. But coming back, I ate it. Big. At the very end, just before I was about to get to the other side, the log bounced and I lost my cool and slow-mo crashed and burned. I mean like limbs flying around, getting scraped up, me laying on the logs/bank. Huge mess. I didn't fall all the way in, but somehow both my feet ended up in that cold ass water, so I had soggy kicks for a looong while. My left leg took most of the damage, I still have some pretty sweet scratches and bruises.
I think this is may be my first official "fall" while hiking as an adult, so I'll take it. It could have been WAY worse, and it was hilarious. Although it did hurt. A bit. But whatevs, kept on hiking!
That mountain there, Maroon Peak, is the most photographed peak in North America. I'm only telling you this because it's one of those tag lines that is on EVERYTHING and everyone says. Like we stopped in the visitor's center and the lady was all, "Oh, well it's the most photographed mountain in North America!" I mean, for real though. It is beautiful.
BABY GOOSE OMGGGG! So many animals everywhere! Beaver dam!
These streams, man. Raging rapids! After hiking our selves sleepy, we headed back to camp for campfire dinner. And here's our little campsite:
DAWWW, look at that baby tent! That thing has been with us for a while. We've had it for eight years! Since we were wee teenagers! It's a very good tent, the perfect size for us, and definitely from Walmart.
And this ridiculousness was just STEPS FROM OUR CAMPSITE. Like immediately to the right of our tent:
We slept to the sound of rushing water. We also sat and read books by it every afternoon (I read the Divergent and the Help, unimpressed by Divergent but the Help was lovely). It was like those "Nature Sounds" CD's, but real life. If you're in Aspen and you want to camp, Silver Bell campground is where it's at. Also can we talk about how much cheaper camping is than staying in a hotel? We stayed for four days and three nights at our campground for $50, including our car pass. I can't wrap my mind around how much it would have been to stay that long in a hotel in Aspen. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Plus we grilled/picnicked quite a few of our meals! Camping is such a money saver and 100 times more fun than staying in a hotel. Get ye a tent! More on hotels, and the nightmares they present, in the next post.
The rest of the trip here!