On June 2, 2017, I went to Denver for a work trip. Since I really miss Colorado, I decided to take some vacation time and backpack in the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness. It had been a long time since I had last hiked in that wilderness, and that was the first place I ever did a solo backpack in the Rockies when we lived in Denver…so it seemed fitting to go back there to do another solo trip.
Once I arrived in Denver, I had a horrible wait to get my rental car…it was like 11 pm when I arrived, and I didn’t get the car until about 1 am. It was crazy. And then they gave me a huge SUV…and I don’t much enjoy driving huge cars. Oh well. But I was ready to roll. I got a hotel that night since it was so late, then got up the next morning and headed into the mountains.
I drove up the Weston Pass Road and parked at the Rich Creek Trailhead. From there, I hiked on the Tumbling Creek Trail towards Buffalo Meadows. I found a nice campsite near the confluence with Willow Creek, and just enjoyed the beautiful views. The next day I dayhiked up to Buffalo Meadows and relaxed in the expansive views. It felt so nice to leave behind the heat and humidity of the South…and my heart will always be happy in the Rockies.
I hiked back to camp and spent another night out. The next day I hiked back to spend a couple of days working.
Tracy then flew out to meet me, and we went back to the same trailhead, but we decided to hike the Rich Creek Trail. We hiked up to the meadows and found a great campsite. We passed a couple who were hiking out as we were hiking in. The snow had just recently melted, so we figured we were among the first people to camp back there this year. We found a nice campsite, and then found a ton of toilet trash at the site. It looked like a woman had a rough experience in the backcountry and had just left a load of toilet paper strewn outside the campsite. It was disgusting and it was terrible. Since the snow had just melted, we figured it must have been left by the couple we passed hiking out. We took it upon ourselves to build a fire and burn all of the toilet paper without getting some disease. I felt bad that the woman obviously had a bad experience, but, please, that doesn’t excuse leaving trash strewn around the backcountry. We were able to dispose of the trash…they could have, also.
After we cleaned up the site, we enjoyed the rest of our trip. It was just relaxing to be alone in the Rockies.
After we hiked out the next day, we drove around Buena Vista and Leadville, and just enjoyed Colorado. We really fell in love with what they’ve done in Buena Vista. But soon the trip was done, and we headed back home.
This trip reminded us that the Rockies are in our blood now. I can’t wait for retirement. I’m ready to move back West.