13th Annual $luts and Mutts Weekend

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This weekend was the 13th Annual weekend for $luts and Mutts. For me, however, it was the first annual weekend as this was my first time to attend.  My friend Danelle, who I met through hiking the Colorado Trail, is the organizer.  I was quite impressed with all of her effort.

Danelle spent a weekend scouting the location, organized the food list, and she along with a few of the ladies who have participated in the event since the inception had quite the set up…food tents, tables, stoves, satellite radio, and even a privacy tent for potty breaks.

I was only able to stay one of the two nights, but it certainly was enjoyable.  This year, we camped off Tigiwon Road near Minturn, Colorado.  Just at the turn off highway 24 is a mine.  The dirt road climbs through groves of aspen.  What a spectacular drive this would be in the fall!  The only thing we didn’t realize is that it is the same road that leads to Mount Holy Cross, a 14er, so the morning traffic begins around 4:30am!

I took two hikes while there.  Since I tend to not sleep very late, I got up, drove to the end of the road, and took an easier trail than Mount Holy Cross.  I hiked to Half Moon Trail to the top of a ridge.  This trail goes very far, but AllTrails showed a 4.3 mile hike.  Such hike goes up and over the ridge, down a little and back up to the ridge upon return.  Since on the map, it didn’t seem like the hike stopped at a special destination in the valley, I decided to make the peak with lovely views the place to stop.

The steep trail climbed 1,300 feet in 1.5 miles.  I followed it through a dense forest to near tree line where it opened to a high alpine meadow with lovely views.  It was a nice morning hike before I met up with the girls again who had just finished breakfast.

I packed up my rain soaked and hail battered tent from the overnight storm and followed the girls down the dirt road to another trail.  This time we hiked a portion of Cross Creek Trail which is 14 miles one way.  There is 4.9 mile out-and-back hike to Surprise Lake, but still nursing a sprained ankle and already having hiked 3 or so miles this morning, I only joined the ladies and dogs for a few more miles to a lovely bridge and back while they continued.

This trail was lovely.  It included aspen groves and pine forests.  The trail paralleled the creek and at times it veered close to the water and crossed it.  I really like hikes that either follow or go to water.  I was pleasantly surprised by this trail, and think I will have to do some more exploring.  ETB


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photographic note card, Blue Columbine
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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

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