Love those Mountains!
Fall, 2001
Ptarmigan Trail, Summit County, Colorado

It is a crisp Saturday, 1 hour and 20 minutes west of Denver. We head up the Ptarmigan Trail at 10:45 AM.

The aspen trees are golden. When the wind blows, the leaves float down like a rain of gold coins.

Ptarmigan Trail is located off I-70 at the Dillon Exit. Go right (North on Highway 9) about 200 yards. Turn right at the first stop light and up the hill past the hotels and restaurants. Turn right on a road called conveniently Ptarmigan Trail. Go 1/2 mile to the trail head and parking area.

 

Looking up at the Colorado sky, so blue and cloudless, the trees seem like halos as you walk under them.

The aspens alternate with wooded evergreen forests as the trail winds up the side of the valley.

The beginning of the hike was steep and up the road from the trail head. After entering the National Forest, it became more wooded and cool.

After passing two small streams that crossed the trail, you come out onto a vista that is breathtaking. Lake Dillon, with it's tiny sailboats, lies below, framed by beds of golden aspens and the peaks beyond.

Even with this wonderful view, hikers coming down and seeing me paused to take in the view, advise me of a better view ahead, with convenient logs to sit on.

At the vantage point that was recommended to me, I take my second rest. I hiked until 12:00 and rested and then another hour to reach the vantage point, arriving there at 1:30.

This is a view across the aspens to Red Mountain in the distance across the Blue River valley.

Looking the other way, you again can see across Lake Dillon. In the picture below, on the extreme right, you see the ribbons of I-70 curving through the picture.

But nothing beats the view of the sailboats on the lake!

Jim had gone ahead and planned to summit Ptarmigan Peak, 12,485 feet. He left me at 12:00 noon and said he would go up and back and meet me at 4:00 PM. We kept in contact on the hour by cell phone (yes, we are near civilization). He made it and had a great hike.

I waited at the vantage point. I dozed in the sun, read Robert Frost, took pictures and talked to hikers as they came by. At one point, I hiked up the hill to take these close-up pictures of the famous Aspen gold.

I learned more about my new digital camera. I took these pictures on Saturday and Sunday put them on my website.

This hike -

    the mountains,
      evergreen woods,
        cool, clear streams,
          dry open hills,
            golden trees,
              sunshine

- was a great relief from the ever-present news and events surrounding the tragedy of September 11.

If all people in the world could see such beauty, maybe there would be less hate in the world.

 

 

Today is Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 10:47:04 am

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