Saturday, July 13, 2013

Peak to Peak Highway

The Peak to Peak Highway is another “scenic drive” along the mountains so after leaving Mom home for 2 days to rest her foot (it started hurting back when they were in Utah, she’s had it x-rayed and they said it wasn’t broken but we think it is.) we decided it was time for a car hike! 

Since we were car hiking we had set a later departure time and I had sometime this morning to work on my blog, upload pictures and research Osprey Packs. I figured out the differences between the different types of pack and figured out exactly which one I wanted.  I also tried to research where to get it – googled Outdoor stores in Boulder, Dillion (where we will be next week) and checked REI.  All the REI stores in the area were out of the one I wanted. 

We’d planned to leave around 9 so we could visit the outdoor store here in Estes Park that advertised Osprey packs, but real life got in the way and we actually left around 10.   Unfortunately the store had almost every Osprey pack ever made, except the one I wanted.  grrr…

I was realizing that in order to get the pack I wanted I might have to have it shipped – luckily REI will ship to general delivery so that was my downside plan, if we couldn’t locate one in Boulder this afternoon, I’d order it and have it shipped to Dillion. 

There are only a few pull outs, hikes and stopping points on the Peak to Peak Highway.  One of them is Lily Lake just barely outside Estes Park.  There is a .9 mile flat path around the lake so Dad and I hiked it!


Longs Peak & Estes Cone reflected in Lily Lake


More mountains reflected in the lake


The trailhead happens to be right next to the Baldpate Inn, a historic restaurant & inn.  It happened to be lunch time so we ate there!  It was very good – soup and salad! Lots of veggies and yummy bread! They also had several hummingbird feeders with lots of hummingbirds buzzing around!

After lunch we headed down the road.  It wasn’t as scenic as we’d hoped!  We stopped at the Wild Basin area of National Park and Dad and I walked .3 to a very nice waterfall. 

Copeland Falls



There was a funny sign in the vault toilet (AKA latrine) at the Copeland Falls parking area:


After the walk we continued down the road until we reached the turn off to Boulder, we were almost done with the Peak to Peak and we’d decided that we weren’t all that into it anyway.  Trail Ridge Road is a tough act to follow. 

Once in Boulder I called a few outdoor stores to see if they had the pack I wanted, they did not, but they had suggested REI.  I knew that REI didn’t have the pack in stock but I thought we could check and at the very least I could get them to help me order it so it would get delivered to Dillion.

Before I went to order the pack I went to the section of the store where they’d have them and looked, they had similar models to the one I wanted, but not the one I’d picked out.  The one they had held a larger capacity, but was only available in the xs/sm torso size.  I thought I needed s/m.  I was debating getting a smaller pack, that seemed to fit me, when a very knowledgeable backpack salesman wandered over.  I asked him what he thought of the way the xs/sm pack fit me and he poked and adjusted and declared the xs/sm a “perfect fit”!  WOW! I thought it was riding too high on my hips!  I guess not!  So I ended up getting a pack that is WAY bigger than my current pack, but it fits me pretty good! 

We wandered REI for awhile looking at all kinds of stuff and buying a few other things before heading back to Estes Park.  By this time however, the headache that I’d had kinda all day was getting worse.  I figured that slacking off on my water consumption the last 2 days of hiking had been a bad idea and that I needed to drink more so I started drinking.  I drank probably about 2 liters on the way back to Estes Park!  What I didn’t do, was eat anything. 

When we got back to Estes Park we decided we’d get dinner at Mama Rose’s, an Italian place Mom had found and wanted to try.  We were told the wait would be 15 mins.  30 minutes into the wait I asked how much longer and was told 5-10 minutes.  At that point I needed to eat.   I needed something to go with all the water I’d drunk.  The headache was bad and I really didn’t feel good.  I told Mom and Dad I needed to eat faster than Mama Rose’s was going to be able to produce food and we took our name off the list and headed back to the campground. 

After eating some Mexi-Beans (beans, rice, cheese), chips and a salad I was feeling much better!  The headache was gone and I felt human again!  Even after being above 5,000 feet for a week the elevation can still kick your butt!  Good thing water is “free” in the campground, gonna be drinking a whole lot the rest of the trip!  Also glad I now have a new pack that will allow me to comfortably (I hope) carry 5 liters on hikes!

It was already late so I came home soon after dinner to pack my new pack and get ready for bed! 


Tomorrow Dad and I are planning to hike Flattop – it’s about 9 miles round trip with almost 3,000 ft of elevation change.  It's almost like Old Rag except that there’s not rock scrambling – just hiking…and oh yeah it starts at around 9,000 feet and the summit is at 12,000 ft.   I hope we make it, but even if we don’t there are great views all along the hike!

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