By Christie Cashatt
2 August 2015
We started the day with 6 rigs; some of our usuals and a very nice new couple who just moved here from Florida a month ago. It was an early start, but we didn’t get to the trailhead for Slide Lake until about 9:30. After airing down, we headed off on a very rocky forest service road. There weren’t any obstacles, but a few dips and larger rocks to navigate. Much to the delight of some, there were some decent mud puddles and even a small water crossing. We held our breath for a moose sighting, but got nothing. Once we got up out of the trees, we stopped for some photos and a liberal douse of bug spray. The flowers were amazing too!
Then, onward and upward, to the end of the trail for a hike to Slide Lake. For those who are fit, it’s probably a short, easy hike. If you have health or altitude issues, it’s a little more taxing. But, it was well worth the hike. The lake was clear, not too frigid, and amazingly peaceful. The only other people were fishermen across the lake and a small group of hikers that passed us. It had a remote and almost untouched sense. We ate lunch there, then headed back into Leadville to go toward Mosquito.
Mosquito was nice- the clouds had rolled in and we feared rain but it never materialized. It left the day comfortable when at lower elevation, but a bit brisk the higher we climbed. As we ascended toward the first switchbacks, we met another rig who said that there was a broken down vehicle on the other side of the pass. We continued on, hitting the summit around 3:30 or so. Fortunately, the clouds didn’t block the view, and it was awesome. The couple from Florida were amazed that they could just walk to the snow that was still hanging around. As we headed down the far side, we finally came to the rig that was stuck coming up. He was in an SUV that probably shouldn’t have been on that trail; he had taken a wrong turn and was hoping the road would get better. Then, he had a blowout and his spare tire was frozen up under the vehicle. He said some other people helped him bust it free, after trying for 2 1/2 hours. Then, his spare wasn’t aired up sufficiently. When we came up to him, a couple on an atv were trying to use their little air pump to help him. We said we had a co2 tank and everyone thought that would be much faster. Jon aired him up and the group absorbed him to make sure he could make the bottom safely. We hit the bottom of the trail with no other issues. We even saw a couple marmots, a couple rabbits, a few deer, but no moose! It was a late return, but an awesome trip. Thanks to everyone who went.
More Pictures HERE