Back into the mountains, finally!
We spent a full week down on the front range, visiting with my son and running my necessary paperwork errands needed to leave Colorado for an extended period. The heat of a July on the front range is pretty extreme, so an RV park with electric hookups was a must. That worked all fine and dandy until the AC in the trailer started tripping the circuit breaker by mid-week. Multiple days in 90+ degrees without AC is not fun at all. We had ideas of what the problem may be, and tried to fix it over a few days, but nothing worked. We were forced to run for the hills to get into cooler temperatures. Not that I mind, I desperately needed to get into the Rocky Mountains anyway.
Peaceful Valley Campground, my ‘home campground’, came to our rescue. The place is usually full during the high season, but a spot opened up for us just as we pulled up. Up here it is 25 degrees cooler during the days than down in the Boulder area. We didn’t need AC anymore, and the mountains out our window brought sighs of lifted weights off our shoulders. We were back in the mountains again, woot!
Way back in July of 2013, I went on a hike to Lake Isabelle in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. It was one of the most enjoyable places I have ever hiked, so much so that I did the sister trail out to Blue Lake a year later, with Moose. So when Kerri and I were talking about where we could go hiking now that we were up in the mountains again, either of the Brainard Lake trails were top on the list.
We had to wake and get moving very early that morning. I kept telling Kerri that by 8am – even on a weekday – all the parking would be taken, so we had to arrive before then. We are camped only 25 minutes away, but we arrived at 8:20 (for reasons best untold) to find all but two parking spaces occupied, and those two were at a different lot another half-mile down the road. The hike would be six miles round trip now, which wasn’t too big of a problem for us.
Moose came along as well, as he did in 2014 on the Blue Lake hike. He loves these longer hikes, and seems to never tire no matter how hard or long the trail is. He is all business on these longer hikes, walking right past other people who have hands extended towards him looking to give him some attention. Good luck with that, he has a trail to hike. Across rivers and jumping over rocks, he marked his way back, every 50 feet or so, the entire length of the trail. After an hour of hiking we reached our destination at Lake Isabelle at just under 11,000 feet, sat for a while enjoying lunch and the scenery, and snapping some pictures before turning around to repeat the hike in reverse.