2. Back In My Happy Place…July/August.2016

day 4…7.18
I’m feeling great & ready to get in a big hike before the predicted monsoon starts mid week.  One of my OH MY GOSH WONDERFUL FANTASTIC FAVORITE hikes here is the 401.  It’s kind of divided into two parts & is mostly a mountain bike trail.  I always hike the north section & always LOVE IT!  It’s a nine mile out & back & there are amazing views of Gothic Valley & then at the top of Crystal canyon & over to the Maroon Bells.  The trail winds through aspen forests & then opens up to big views.  The constant jumping on & off the trail for mountain bikers is no problem…they are the HAPPIEST athletes around & always so gracious & thanking you for getting off the trail.  The wildflowers, while maybe not quite as plentiful this year because of lack of rain, were gorgeous!  Hiking amongst a million flowers is amazing!




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As I was so-happily hiking along, I heard a thunderous noise overhead.  JETS!  Not sure what the ‘lone’ plane was about…actually, I’m not sure what any of it was about, I was just hoping it was some training thing…not a disaster.


I met my friend Kate for an hour or so we shared a bottle of Petrus Aged Red on her ‘fish bus’.  It’s always fun to visit with this amazing & talented artist friend of mine.


day 5…7.19
Today’s hike is up the Snodgrass Mountain Road.  The Snodgrass trail is a popular trail with hiking & biking visitors since it’s close to town.  The old mountain road intersects the trail near the beginning & is also used for trail riding.  I’d sort of forgotten about this trail (I’ve only hiked it once before) until Talie mentioned it the other night.  The weather is still beautiful, the flies are tortuous, but the hiking is wonderful!  I started up the old jeep road in the aspens following some horses.  Soon, they were stopped in the meadow taking a break & at their turn around point & I was still hiking up up up.  The flowers were nice along the road & I was hoping I wouldn’t run into any big brown furry  wild life.  The bears are known to be in this area later in the summer & I was hoping none would show up early.   



After climbing about 3.5 miles up the road, it ends with a wonderful view of Virginia Basin & a tiny view of Gothic.



The skies were growing dark behind me so I jogged a good way down the road.


I took the cut off trail on the way down that intersects the Snodgrass trail & hiked that back to my 4runner with beautiful views of the East River Valley.

Take a really good look at the photos from this hike, because they will also be tomorrows hike….because the drama is about ready to start (my teenie tiny drama).  I got back to my car & pulled of my sweaty long sleeved shirt exchanging it for a short sleeved dry one…& realized my necklace was gone.  I’m not into a lot of fancy expensive jewelry, but this pendant was super special to me.  I’ve had it tied around my neck since April & have worn it a bunch before then since Danny bought it for me last year here in CB.  I was sooooo sad!  I was sure it was there this morning, since I touch it all the time.  I really, really love this necklace!  The skies were growing dark & the storm was about ready to begin.  I doubted I would have it in me to hike back up the road & put in another 7 miles today.  I drove to the Brick for beer & then headed out to camp.  I took all the sleeping bags out & most everything from the front.  I looked all over camp…& then repeated all of this a second time.  Darkness fell & the skies became a mass of brilliant color after the storm.  Sleep wouldn’t come to me though…I was obsessed about finding my necklace.

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day 6…7.20
I didn’t sleep much at all.  I had decided I would go back & do the same hike all over again & do my best to find my treasure.  I grabbed some breakfast at Paradise & then headed back to repeat yesterday’s hike.  I left my camera in the car, knowing I’d be looking down at the trail all 7 miles.  The sun was shining bright & the flies were giving me extra love (welts) until I stopped & doused myself in bug dope.  To make a long story short, I didn’t find the necklace.  I did see some wildlife though.  As I was still up high, where there is no one else, I heard a noise in the trees & abruptly stopped.  It was a huge buck…& I had never been this close to one.  The minute he saw me, he thundered off into the forest.  HE REALLY THUNDERED…I couldn’t believe how loud the sound of him running away was…it was incredible!  I was just grateful he was running AWAY & not toward me.  I’ve had a herd of cows run towards me before, & the whole herd wasn’t as loud as this one mighty animal.  Farther down the road & spotted something just sitting there along the side of the road.  I stopped & it just stared at me.  It was a fox.  If I had a ‘spirit animal’ it would a fox.  I had a woo-woo moment & was so hopeful that my ‘spirit animal’ was sitting on my necklace.  I waited until it ran off, then anxiously approached the space he’d been sitting in.  No necklace…I looked & looked (I’d been looking & looking since I started this hike this morning!).  It had just been a fox, but I was still grateful I’d gotten to see it…I LOVE FOXES!

I had already been back to the parking lot twice yesterday but as I ended my hike I looked again.  Dejected, sweaty, dirty, itchy, a little bit welty, & covered in bug dope, I decided I’d drive to Gunny & run a couple of errands… the first one being a shower.  I called & told Danny I hadn’t found the necklace he'd given me…I was so bummed.  The highlight of the day was Face timing with Claire & Sara.  I do know a necklace is just a ‘thing’ & what really matters in life….perspective, right?  This pendant was made from Lapis Lazuli from Italian mountain here in Crested Butte.  It was in the shape of Mt. Crested Butte.  A beautiful piece made from the mountain & I guess it returns to the mountain in it’s own way.  I’m still hopeful that when I get back home & unpack everything from my car & totally go through each item, my little gem will show up.

Once in Gunnison, I was clean fresh & smelling as sweet as I get, I gassed up the 4runner, ran a couple of errands then headed back up the valley to Crested Butte.  The skies were growing so black & it began to rain as I made my way back in town.  Just as I parked the car, it poured!  Then hailed!  I caught up on a couple of phone calls not wanting to get drenched by getting out of the car.  As Colorado storms go, this one ended in about 20 minutes.  I was heading to the Brick to be a “voyeur’ tonight.  Dan rides with a group of Colorado brewers once a year.  Their trip is about 6 or 7 days long & they go all over Colorado & always make a stop at the Brick (they sell a ton of their beer).  Dan had told me to stop by…. they’d be there about 4…exhausted from the 100 mile days ride.  As I walked in, I saw a huge group of sweaty hungry beer drinking riders….each would walk a little funny when they got up from the table…& it wasn’t because they’d had too much beer.   It was easy to see which breweries they worked at or owned, because it was plastered all over their bike outfits.  I was most interested in seeing Adam, the owner of Avery.  I love their big beers…as a matter of fact, I ordered one as soon as I sat at the bar.  After awhile, Dan came over to me & we visited about the ride.  I was glad they’d made it before the storm hit…& so was he!  He pointed out all the brewers, owners, & misc others….Adam from Avery, & others from Ska, Epic, Great Divide..about 6 breweries in all.  While I could care less about famous athletes, TV or movies stars, I was so excited to see these guys.  I also got to meet Brian's (the other owner of the Brick) little two year old daughter…so sweet!

I had told Kate the other night if she need some help getting some of her stuff organized, I’d help her tonight.  So about 6:15 I headed to the fish bus & we worked until about 10:15.  I loved organizing all her drawings…wow…she is so super talented & creative.  I drove back to camp in the dark….not my favorite thing to do, since it seems there’s about a million deer out there that like to spring out in front of your car, but they all stayed in the woods…thank God!  My screen tent was still standing, having survived the storm, & there was a super cool looking truck camper in the site next to me.  I hadn’t taken one single photograph today.

I felt so tired…clean but tired.  I haven’t slept much the past three nights & last night was the worst.  I knew I would have to let the loss of my necklace go.  I’m not one to leave something special at home tucked safe in a drawer (I also wear a special bracelet all the time…not only my most expensive piece of jewelry & just as special as my necklace…my two favorite pieces of jewelry) but know how much wearing these items & seeing them each day means to me….even if I take the chance it will get lost someday.

I tucked into my bag under a clearing skies with a hazy full moon & fell into a deep & sound sleep.

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