Sept 2, 2014
We had a nice slow morning and left the Santa Fe area about 9 am. We had about 270 miles to drive to our destination, Gunnison, CO. The drive was beautiful, especially Hwy 114 heading into Gunnison as it snaked its way through the mountains.
We arrived at the Tall Texan RV Park, just past Gunnison and about 25 minutes from Crested Butte. Our campsite is nice, with a quiet view of a meadow from our windows. After settling in, we strolled around the campground to ‘get our bearings’, then fixed a pizza for dinner.
Sept 3rd, 2014 (Fred’s Birthday!)
We had picked out a nice hike for this morning. Being aware of the altitude – our campground is at 7700 feet, but most of the hikes in the area start about 9000 feet – we chose a hike that was not too ambitious. The Brush Creek hike starts at 8947 feet and gains only 413 feet on an out and back course. Round trip, this hike is only 4.26 miles and is listed in our guide as an easy hike that should take about 2 hours.
The trail follows an old road bed…….
And hugs the edge of a hillside overlooking this lush valley ……
With a beautiful meandering stream running through it.
The hillside would have been covered with wildflowers……now just the remnants of flowers remain, along with the brush which is just putting on its fall colors. Beautiful Aspens dot the woods, their leaves rustling and shimmering in the breeze.
The trail opened out to a wide meadow with a majestic view of the mountains……
We walked on for about an hour…..until we came to the end of the trail, here at this wide stream. A good place to stop for a granola bar and a bit of a rest, before heading back.
I am going to have to confess……starting out, we felt like bumbling novices. We fumbled getting our day packs out of the car, making sure that we had not forgotten anything. And starting down the trail, my thought was “What are we doing?!” Some of this is the effect of elevation….that slightly breathless, anxious feeling….. and some is just getting reacquainted with our gear and the activity.
By the time we were on our way back up the trail, we were feeling pretty good. We had our ‘hiking legs’ under us, and felt confident. This was a good way to start out…… just a stroll along a hillside enjoying a beautiful day!