Jebus on the Mountain
I tagged along with Mark and Stephane today, trading a late start for a chance at some hot oatmeal and trail fellowship. Much of the day was spent in the Holy Cross Wilderness, which is named after a 14,000 foot peak which appears to have a crucifix etched into one of its upper ridges.
At the sign informing us we were entering this bit of forest we paused for a moment and a large fly buzzed in front of my face. As I prepared to swat the annoyance away I was stopped in mid-swing by the realization I was about to belt a tiny emerald hummingbird. The bird's wings beat so fast I wished I had time stop photography eyes to properly appreciate its grace. Our meeting was all too short since I was unable to avoid blurting out "holy crap look at this guys," which of course scared off my visitor, a not uncommon reaction to my booming voice.
There were a lot of incidents involving real insects today and all centered around hapless Stephane. His young flesh must have resembled a filet mignon to the local mosquitoes, which are great in number following the warm winter. They constantly harassed the poor lad until he had to don way more clothing than the heat of the day suggested was necessary.
Stephane's urgency to escape the hungry clouds spurred us on through bumpy and twisting trail until we finally reached the trailhead where we were to depart the CT. Mark and his son waited beside the road hoping to hitch a ride to Leadville, then back to Copper Mountain and their car. I shook hands with them and went my own way, up Turqouise Lake to a small primitive campsite where I waited out the terrors of the night.
12 miles/2663 miles