June 6 – Mountains, Miles, and Moose

“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” — Mark Twain

Squaw Lake Intersection to Ute Creek
20.2 miles

Camping at over 12,000 feet has challenges. Number 1, it is really cold at night. So cold that if you leave your wet shoes outside your tent, I did, they become frozen bricks in the morning and are impossible to put on. They actually remind me of the little cast shoes that was popular years ago. Solution… hold them over my Jet Boil stove to thaw them enough to shove them on. It is painful. Tomorrow night I am going to put them in a garbage bag inside my tent. Lesson learned.

The weather pattern has been very consistent every day with beautiful clear skies in the morning and cold, cloudy afternoons with light snow flurries. This makes for VERY dramatic skies.

Today we rounded a mountain and beauty beyond belief welcomed us. Turquoise lakes, lush healthy trees, meadows, and pointy colorful mountains. The trail was even clear of snow for long stretches.

In the late afternoon, Wired was entering a bushy area ahead and a large moose was blocking the trail. We had fun carefully watching for a short time. This is wild country. I am happy.










  1. “This is wild country. I am happy.” Wonderful words. Sounds and looks like you are having a great trip so far.

  2. Wow, those mountains are amazing!

  3. snakebait

    The trade: frozen shoes for those views. Yup, good deal.

  4. Frank Blangeard

    A good place for boots on cold nights is in the foot end of your sleeping bag inside a plastic bag. Most sleeping bags are longer than the person using them so this is no problem. It is also a good place for a small water bottle and some breakfast bars.

  5. Dan Rosander

    Very dramatic weather. Hey Silly, go stand over by that moose so we can get a better picture! Kidding, I would never say that. Haha

  6. Colorado sure looks beautiful! I can only imagine how challenging all of that snow is! How has your food situation been? I don’t think I commented on any of your food prep posts, but I always find it interesting how backpackers deal with dietary restrictions. A friend of mine is a vegan, and it is always very challenging finding things for her to eat while we are out there on the trail.

    • Okay, confession time. I ate pizza at the first resupply town and lived to tell about it. I am continuing gluten and dairy free on the trail and am going to add some candy. Trail towns…well that appears for me to be another story.

  7. Wow – that trail looks epic!
    Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  8. Great solution to the frozen shoes.

  9. Georgette Theotig

    Your photos show a beautiful and rugged landscape. It must be a challenge to deal with changing weather all day. I’m glad you got to see a moose! I’m thinking of you as you walk each step and enjoy every minute of your adventure!

    • They say if you don’t like the weather in Colorado, just wait 15 minutes and it will change. It is true! Taking jackets off and on all day is annoying sometimes. Hot, cold, hot, cold, then freezing, then wet. Gotta smile and bend. Love your comments. Happy trails to you!

  10. Thank you for posting. I have been so anxious to hear how you two were doing. Sounds like you are having some difficult challenges. Hope your days ahead get a little easier. We miss you back here.

    • I hope they do too. I gotta admit I have doubts all day. Can I keep up? Will my body keep up with all this? How can I be more efficient? etc. etc. Love, love your encouragement.

  11. Laurie Black

    Your pictures are simply beautiful! Hopefully the terrain is kind to you today! Stay Strong all of you. Thank you to you and Wired for sharing your hike with us! Laurie

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