This is all very outdated by this point. It is also nothing more than a (mostly) copy and paste of my Geocaching logs. But who cares.
Today was an all-day drive from Cheyenne Wyoming to Telluride Colorado. It can be done in 7 hours. We were moving from 6am til 10pm. That is more than 7 hours. Lots of fun in between! Driving most of the length of Colorado was a blast. We stopped at a bunch of cool spots for pictures. We rode the lift to the top of Monarch Pass. We stopped for a few awesome geocaches, including the Cache Across America, and the oldest in Colorado, Terryall. Having an all-wheel drive adventure van kicks ass for this stuff.
Today was our first of 3 via Ferratas on this trip through Colorado. Today we climbed around in Ouray. First time I have been to this town. So close to Telluride, yet still somehow so far away. What an amazing set up they have there. We started early, were done by lunch, and had lunch at the Ouray brewery, great burgers. After that we bopped around town for a while, did the adventure lab, ran into a guy with the same van as me, except way better, then finally head back to home base in Telluride.
The Ouray Via Ferrata would end up being the easiest of the 3 for me. It was still technical. But it was very much like a lot of rock scrambling and climbing I have done against everyones better judgement.
Today started wonderfully with a round of frisbees at the course in Telluride Mountain Village. It was only a few minutes walk from where we are laying our heads for a few evenings. Now that is a frisbee golf course of ups and downs like I have never experienced. I think the greatest part for me was also a bit surreal. I have spent more time on this Telluride mountain, snowboarding in the winter, than hours I have spent contemplating the meaning of life. 1 winter I spent 4 weeks here. I have always said that we needed to come back in the summer. Finally, it happened! Walking around on these slopes that I came zooming down countless times gave me such a smile.
After the fun round of frisbees, it was time to ride the gondola down to town for lunch. We ate at the BBQ spot right at the bottom. After that we strolled around town for a couple hours, enjoying the perfect weather before the storms would come and ruin everything. I found a few geocaches that I either neglected in winters past, or were new since my last visit.
Today was the 2nd of 3 Via Ferratas we planned this trip. Telluride was today’s location to climb around on the mountain side. This is definitely my new favorite of the ones we have done. The views from the wall alongside Bridal Veil Falls were indescribable. The pictures of us on the mountain side look photoshopped. I could not believe that after we started the trek, that is when I decided to open the Geocaching application on my telephone. A cache only .3 from here? And the title is Via Ferrata? Oh boy, this could be my new favorite geocache of all times! We made it to the spot after the Main Attraction. I knew we would not search for too long. And we did not need to. Our guide, Coop, spotted a pile of rocks. I moved in for a closer look, and BAM! A geocaching log dating back to 2016, with only a handful of signatures on it. I explained to the guide that the Venn diagram of geocachers and people who do Via Ferratas is me, and these other 20 people that have found this particular geocache. The rains held off until the second we got to the parking lot. I could not have planned it better if I was asked.
We left Telluride with an entire day of driving planned. We were going to end up in the southeast of CO, somewhere near the old “geocache”. We drove through Ouray, Silverton, Durango, and kept going south-ish. We ended up sleeping at a sketch campground somewhere on the highway. I missed all the great pull-offs. This left us 2 hours from the old Geocache.
I started driving about 4:30am heading toward the old Geocache, we had about 2 hours to get there. Somehow yesterday we drove all afternoon, but did not make much ground. I arrived at the campground (which was my original planned ending point last night), just before sunrise. I put on my headlamp, but never actually needed it. I found the cache on the walk out, and then the 2000 one at the vista. The entire walk I was socked in by clouds. I could not see too far, but I knew that view would be amazing. I stood there for about 2 minutes, a giant wind came through, pushed everything away, and left me with a gorgeous, post sunrise view. I got a fantastic picture. I assume the lord had to fart, and farted in my general direction to move the clouds. Then a quick jog back to our CAMperVAN. Back on the road again, next destination, Great Sand Dunes NP. WOW! What an insane place. It makes zero sense to be in the middle of Colorado. We spent a few hours there. I made my way around the area, reading signs, and climbing on sand dunes. I wanted to make the trek out for the EC that was far away, and I did. It was tougher than I expected. I saw a recent DNF from someone I know from home. I assumed that meant that all the Dunes blew away? Or someone stole them? A DNF on an EC…now I get it. So worth the trek. The view from the top of the dunes is spectacular. I can’t believe how far they go on for. So glad we made time to visit here.
After GSDNP, we head north to CO Springs. There was no reason to stick around down there, the clouds and storms are going to be all night, and there will be no night sky to photograph. So, into COSP, for a few to-do’s and a hotel and shower for the night. First was the zoo, to get breathed on by a giraffe. Bad breath, honestly almost knocked me out. Then over to Pauls Stash for the 2000 geocache. Wow, the GSDNP EC, and Paul’s Stash on the same day. The time spent in that canyon near Paul’s was mesmerizing. I got rained on the entire time, mostly drizzle, lots of thunder. I got the 2000 Stash, 1 puzzle, a traditional and hopefully and EC during that grueling 1.5 uphill miles. I didn’t walk a lot of miles today, but I did walk a lot of elevation.
These past 2 days have been 2 of the best in my medium-lengthed life.