Rants and Ramen

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Sunday, June 12, 2011

One.  While in Whoville, did Colorado secretly pass a law that any '6' on a speed limit sign should be treated as a '5' and the speed of the vehicle adjusted accordingly?

Two.  Montrose.  Your stoplights.  Shit.  I think you must just put them in for fun.  And rig them all to turn red as white, mud-speckled out-of-state Tacomas are approaching.  You are depressing and the lights are not helping me get the hell out of you!

Three.  Looks like my truck CD player decided to die.  Won't play the CD that is currently in its belly, but refuses to relinquish said CD.  I may be at the mercy of western po-dunk town radio for a while.

FourColorado Boy brewery is closed today.  The growler I have been holding on to for two years since I was last here, and was brought on this trip specifically for this day, shall remain aslumber in the bed of my truck.  (all this means is that I have to return)


My life is rough.  :)

Two summers ago I spent some time in the Ridgway/Durango area camping, hiking, and exploring.  Ridgway is one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.  The San Juan mountain range just to the south, with Mt Sneffels quietly watching over the expanse to the north.

I spent a couple nights camped up in the Yankee Boy Basin at the foot of Mt Sneffels.  I awoke at 6am to a light drizzle (every time I woke during the night it was raining, to my dismay, since I wanted to climb the peak that morning).  I was considering abandoning my summit attempt, but after hearing a couple vehicles go by, decided it was worth a shot.

A thick, chilly fog filled the basin and there were times during the climb when visibility was less than a hundred feet.  Early in the hike I smelled what seemed to be Top Ramen.  "That's a strange choice for breakfast", I thought, "although it does smell damn tasty."  About 20 minutes later into the climb, when there were no campsites nearby, I smelled it again.  I suppose it must have been one of the types of plant in that area.

Climbing up a steep, seemingly never-ending scree field, the climbers were actually greeted with a light snow!  As long as there was no thunder or hail, I figured it was safe to continue.  After encountering a number of equally-exhausted looking climbers, I was the first to reach the summit other than three young guys who had just gotten there.  Although still having the satisfaction of reaching the top alive, it felt like we were standing in a cloud!

A number of people came and went, but I chose to stay in hopes that the fog would break to reveal a view that I could only imagine.  After about an hour, once my fingers were too cold to write, it finally came.  For only 30 seconds or so, a window opened in the fog to the north, the view even better than I hoped for!  I don't even know if I had time to take a picture.  As soon as the window opened, it was gone again.

The worst part about climbing a 14er is the hike down.  Your knees take a horrific beating and your legs quickly turn to rubber.  However, it's also the best part of climbing a 14er - passing a multitude of breathless, red-faced, sweaty people still on their way up.  Actually, the best part of hiking a 14er is a giant burger, greasy fries, and a nice, cold beer after getting down!
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