In late August, Dorinna worked for the weekend, so Nate and I set out for a backpacking trip. We chose Kelly Lake, a destination in the Colorado State Forest that I’ve never visited before.
The first adventure was the drive along the Ruby Jewel road to the trailhead. We’ve hiked this road before, as it was beyond the ability of our Subaru Outback. This time, however, we brought the Jeep. It was a very rough road, and I hit bottom once before making it to the end, but we did fine.
It’s an interesting hike to Kelly Lake from this trailhead. You start with a steep climb up, then descend into a stream valley filled with wildflower meadows.
You follow this up to an alpine pass before dropping down again to the lake, which is right at treeline.
I misread the map at home, and it was four miles in instead of two, but other than getting to camp late this wasn’t a problem.
Nate did great. He talked and talked and talked and generally drove me crazy, but he didn’t complain once. He took photo after photo of flowers, remarked on the rocks, and had a blast.
Sunday was super windy, with whitecaps across our small lake. We had a leisurely morning, and then explored around the lake before shlepping on the packs and heading for home.
A pleasant weekend overnight, and Nate’s twentieth backpacking trip.