I woke up on Monday and decided if I'm going to do this Leadville thing I better get used to running above treeline at 11,000 feet.
My first plan was to drive to Berthoud Pass and run / hike to Flora. I forgot about the traffic leaving the valley. As I drove through downtown Tabernash and saw the line of traffic I turned and headed toward Meadow Creek Reservoir. I didn't bring my map because I was just going to follow the trail from the top of Berthoud. So when I got to Meadow Creek Res I wasn't sure what trail or where to go. I started running the road not sure what was at Junco trailhead.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Bob Saint from the Grand County Wilderness Group manning the cabin. I knew about the cabin and I knew about the group. I just didn't really understand where it was. He was awesome, gave me a few options for a hike and off I was.
I decided on Caribou Pass since it was a little harder with more incline.
I make great decisions about 79 percent of the time. This was one of them. What a great/hard hike/run. Once I got above treeline and saw those freaking high peaks - I knew I made the right decision about Leadville.
I've been road biking and road running for so long - since 2008. It was time to get back to my 18-year-old roots - hiking in the mountains. Or in this case running in the mountains.
Why the heck have I never been up here. Caribou Pass was spectacular - rocks, crags, Continental Divide - seriously - I haven't felt so alive in so long. I haven't felt the AWE in so long.
|Caribou Pass sign|
|The view looking south|
|Heading back down to Junco|
|The view looking northeast.|
|Don't forget to pay the day pass fee.|