Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blue Lakes Pass

It's been a whirlwind week here in the San Juan Mountains!

Will I ever get tired of this view from my living room window?

Today, my first "zero day", I 'm faced with an abundance of photos to sort through and much to convey.

As all full-time employees know, Mondays are a challenge. Even for a semi-retired vagabond, they still can be, as Box Canyon Mark offers to guide us on Monday morning up to Blue Lakes Pass. My first hike since arriving - at over 13,000 feet elevation.


But Mark and wife Bobbie have summited 50 of Colorado's 54 fourteeners (peaks standing over 14,000 feet), so ... the man knows what he's doing.

Mark (R)  and John (L) load up the back of Mark's 4x4, affectionately named Petroleous Rex.

The cargo includes a few hikers.

Along the way, here's the song running round my head (sung to the tune of Oh Sussana!)

  Ohhhhh, I come from Alabama with no red cells in my blood ... 

The above photo was the only one that was properly focused due to the bouncy nature of the deeply rutted jeep roads. But we made it through what seems impossible terrain. As I said, Mark knows what he's doing.

We start hiking in an upwardly fashion.

Chris and Debbie

Up, up, up.


Mark promised wildflowers and kept his word.

More up.

Eventually, we reach the pass and discover the leaders of the pack.

Is it just me or do they look a little smug?

Mark, Suzanne, Gayle

Then we turn and see this!

We expectantly await the sun's appearance so that the Blue Lakes can dazzle us further.

Our patience pays off!

We do lunch.

Soon it's time to start back down. On the steepest part of the descent, I manage to do a slip-and-slide on the unforgiving scree. I remember doing exactly one revolution over the rocks before winning the fight against gravity. No real harm done, just some minor scrapes and bruises. Totally worth it, BTW.

Eventually, we return to treeline.

What an exhilarating experience! I only hope the photos reflect how the day was - both literally and figuratively - breathtaking.


  1. Woo hoo, Gal! You are sumpin' else! I was holding my breath for you all the way back down! ;->

    Virtual hugs,


  2. Mountains are magical and thats a breathtaking view of the lake. Its so easy to fall when walking on rocky rough tracks.

  3. OMG, that is breathtaking and am so glad you made the trek. These old lungs would not have been able to, even though they have lived in high elevations most of their life off and on. Thanks for making the trek and the pictures.

  4. I shouldn't have bet against you, way to go all the way :)
    Box Canyon Mark

  5. I am now thinking of you as Amazon Kim! To go from Alabama to 13,000 feet in essentially no time is impressive! As are those views!

    1. Thanks Lisa. :-) Stay tuned - you will recognize the next hike.

  6. Looks like a very nice hike. Glad you survived your "one revolution". More than one would probably have been trouble. ;)

  7. 13,000 ft! At 8,000 ft (Mammoth Lakes, CA), I bent over the ice chest, got up too fast, and hey -- it was the 60s all over again in my head! Did you have a reward in mind for yourself when you returned from this major effort?

    1. Lol! We actually went to a coffee shop and all got cookies. How wholesome is that?

  8. The "turn and see" picture reminded me of the paint-by-numbers pictures we painted in days of yore. Very scenic.

    Glad you survived and enjoyed your hike.

  9. That's quite a feat, especially at that elevation! I suspect the view you got was a great reward.


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