Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ditch Day

I blew off work today and went snowshoeing. Conditions were really good. Took a 15 mile round trip plow from the mountain town of Eldora to just below the Continental Divide at King Lake. I was by myself all day in the wilderness except for a x-country skier who shussed past me near the trailhead

Some pics:

The trailhead for King Lake begins at the end of the road in Eldora.

Mountain hippies took over Eldora in the 60’s and they still reign. Lots of 60 year old mountain mommas with long grey hair and weathered faces walking their dogs. Falling down and fading log cabins.

On the way back from King Lake I stopped for a minute to rest.

Complete silence.

No birds, no wind, no animals, no people, no sound.

Scary. Wonderful.

King Lake is just a short slog from both "Betty Lake" and "Bob Lake."

Yes, those are the actual names on the US Geological Survey Map. I'm guessing some white couple from Nebraska named them way back when. Even today you can still submit requests to the USGS to name previously unnamed geological features. Some stuff remains tag-less. Given the growing ethnic diversity in Colorado I expect to climb a "Tameeka" Peak or cross a "Mohammed" Creek before long....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your pictures are beautiful. I t is a strange, wonderful and rather scary experience to be completely alone in silence. I think those lakes are named after my relatives Bud and Betty who live in Joes and went to school in Kirk. Creativity with names was at a low point back then. Can you imagine seeing those gorgeous mountain lakes and the first thing that comes to mind is "I think I'll call it Bob". I think naming one Lakeesha would fit the ethnic bill and it does a great job of stating the obvious.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

You sound like you've got some experience up high. I kind of like the sound of a town called "Ed" though.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous John Teter said...

I like the wetsuit-warmth with the snow shoes. Knowing nothing about shushing around in the snow, the shoes look more industrial than I would have imagined. Are those current or are you going with the classics?

2:34 AM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

They're special mountaineering shoes. The cleets and the frame are all one piece of superhard, superlight composite material. They let you go fast and go pretty much anywhere. If you're moving over hardpack they look like they do in the pic, but if you're going through deep powder you can snap back panels onto em that lengthen em and make em perform better in the deeps. I just carry the panels in my pack. And they've got a cool metal bar that you can snap up which lifts your heels up about 4 inches above the shoe surface--that makes climbing up steep snow/ice a lot easier on your calfs. So no, they're not classics--basic recreational shoes look more like what you'd expect, but those are for just tooling around on flats for shorter distances. I have a pair like that which Janet uses.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous John Teter said...

Wordcat, thanks for filling me in on the shoes. There is far more than meets my untrained, LA eyes. What great exercise and nature for you. Great stuff!

11:44 PM  

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