Monday, October 4, 2010

My Backpacking Adventure!

There is a very popular backpacking trail that starts right outside of Aspen, which ascends to the Conundrum Hot Springs.  Its one of the most popular hikes in the state, and people come from all over the country for this trip.  Jim and I are lucky to live right near the start of this trail, and its a wonder neither of us had been up there previously.  That said, it was something really cool to share together :)

We set out on the trail around 10 am on Sunday morning with the shock of pulling into a tiny parking lot jammed with over 40 cars.  We've heard rumors that the springs can get crowded on weekends, but hopeful that starting on Sunday would behoove us, we set out loaded packs mounted.  We planned to possibly stay until Tuesday morning because Jim didn't have to be at work until noon.  As we hiked our way along the 9 mile trail, we started passing a steady stream of people leaving the springs.  Jim and I estimated we saw about 70 people leaving while we were hiking up, so we were pleasantly surpised when we started hearing from the end of the neverending line of people that only a few couples remained in the camps.  I have no idea how anyone would enjoy being one of 70 people up there!! 

Our hike up was fairly flat for the majority and then got steeper at the end.  We went past a beautiful waterfall that I would have loved to get close to.

We got to camp around 5 pm and as promised found out that only four other people were around.  We picked camp site number 13, which came highly recommended by a friend and didn't disappoint. 

It offered privacy and close proximity to the main pool, which he hit promptly after setting up the tent.

Three hours later, we finally drug ourselves out into the freezing cold to retreat to the camp, finish setting up, eat dinner, and hit the sack.   Our original plan for Monday was to possibly hike to the top of Castle Peak and Conundrum Peak which are both 14,000+ in elevation.

After realizing how long it took to get up to the pools, we calculated we'd have to get up around 5am, pack up and leave before the sun was up to get down in time for Jim to go to work, so we decided to come back Monday.  This turned out to be a good idea, because as we were deparing, it started to spit snow.

As we hiked back to the car, the sun came in and out, and we only passed 2 couples hiking in, which meant it would have been anoter quiet evening in the pools.  It looked fairly nasty as we looked back, but then it cleared up beautifully, so I hope they had  a nice evening. 

All in all it was a great trip for Jim and I.  We travel really well together, even though I'm a turtle in comparison (or my analogy of Jim = Energizer Bunny and Angie = Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man), and we really enjoyed this trip.  If you ever have a chance to go to Aspen and take this it!  And make sure you let me know you're in town :)