With a forecast of cool, rainy and gloomy for Saturday the girls and I headed up to play in the mountains. We didn’t have a specific plan for the day, but I knew what would make at least one dog happy: water.
Our first stop was the whitewater park at Lawson. There was no one there again (it was cool and rainy), so the girls had free reign. Lucy waded in a bit but she’s smart enough to know she can’t swim in the strong current. Fabi was in the water and crashing over the rapids as usual.
After an hour in Lawson we hit the road again. I thought taking the girls to Loveland Pass but I suspected that it would be packed with day-trippers again, so I kept on I-70 and exited in Frisco. After a quick tour of the town we were headed south to Leadville. I had never taken US 24 back north from Leadville so off we went. After passing through Ski Cooper we stopped at Camp Hale, site of the 10th Mountain Division. The dogs were more interested in digging through the brush and rolling in grass (hopefully on grass) so we headed back into Leadville where there didn’t appear to be much going on. I like Leadville but they’ve recently become rather unfriendly towards dogs by banning them from their big festivals and events. CDOT had updated their signs to indicate that Independence Pass was already open for the summer so I decided the girls would get a new sign photo opportunity. First, however, we would stop at Twin Lakes for a swim.
Next it was on up to the top of Independence Pass. The light snow of the winter and the unusually hot spring had left their marks on the pass: there was almost no snow to be seen on the way up and everything was already fairly green. There was, however, enough snow at the pass to make it an interesting proposition getting from the parking area to the observation overlook over the ridge but some creative snow sliding across a few drifts got me through. I had visions of getting the dogs to pull me out of the drifts if they proved too deep; luckily I did not have to rely on their lighter weight on the crusty drifts.
After ninety minutes or so at the pass I was ready to hit the road and we continued west towards Aspen. Again, there was almost no snow at all on this side of the pass — but there were some really awful “Sunday” drivers in front of me riding their brakes all the way down. We passed a small herd of deer in the road just outside of Aspen before hitting the sprawl. It was getting late at this point so I just continued through to Glenwood Springs where we briefly stopped at a rest area along the Colorado River. Fabi has scratched another river off of her list of major rivers in which to swim, but I kept her close as the river was rolling pretty hard and fast. We finally made it home after 10 PM and several light snow storms where we all crashed out for the night.