Wednesday, August 06, 2008
CT Day 12: Parting at Copper Mountain.
Paul, Dave and I left early that morning from the higher Western Flanks of Tenmile Range, hoping to Reach Copper Mountain with plenty of time for Dave and I to go further, divide up the food and supplies, and to give Paul a chance to find a ride to Leadville.
Paul's plan now consisted of heading to Leadville, hoping his knees would heal back up, and then jumping back in at some point further in the trail. At 11:00 or so when we finally reached Copper Mountain and the highway, Dave and I immediately started rummaging through our food, fuel and gear, giving Paul what we thought we wouldn't need. We dropped one of the stoves, much of the fuel, A LOT of food. The GPS Paul had been carrying also didn't make the cut, as we hadn't used it in days, and had never actually had a real need for the device.
Once finished, we said our goodbyes and Dave and I hurriedly rushed through the ultramodern Copper Mountain Ski Resort. It almost looked busier with mountain bikers, day hikers, and Midwesterners on vacation than it did with skiers in the winter. Fortunately, after numerous miles of dodging out of shape day hikers, mountain bikers, and an entire smelly cavalry of mounted tourists, we ascended into the pristine beautiful tundra near Janet's Cabin.
Janet's Cabin belongs to the 10 Mountain Division Hut System. During the Second World War, the US Army trained the 10th Mountain Division in this part of Colorado as a special unit for alpine and winter warfare. A system of huts, loosely modeled after those in Switzerland, were constructed to assist in training. After World War 2, Many of the 10th Mtn. veterans returned to Colorado and established the ski resorts that made the state famous. While I've never had more than a passing interest in the stories and lore surrounding the 10th Mountain Division, the Cabin and its wonderful setting definitely caught my attention. We should be passing by their former base, Camp Hale, sometime tomorrow afternoon! I'll definitely want to stop and stare.
Dave and I both took some great pictures.
CT DAY 13: 17 Miles To Tennessee Pass
The Colorado Trail Story