Moving into a condo for a week after living in our little trailer for the past year felt like moving into a mansion with all of this space and amenities. As we were packing up our things to move over, I thought this is more work than it is worth. Looks like I was wrong. I don't want a sticks an bricks yet but a week is pretty good. Now that much of our stuff is out of the trailer, we can take some time and do some good cleaning. We thought we were down to just what we needed but threw out more as we weeded thru our cabinets.
We were having our morning coffee when someone knocked at the door and "housekeeping". We passed except a couple of new towels.
It was a treat to just hang around the resort for a couple of days which is ski in/ski out in the winter, taking our morning walk on the mountain along the stream before heading in to binge on the Olympics, internet and a little hot tub time.
McCullough Gulch Trail
We have our go to trails that we like while in Breckenridge. This time, we thought we would try a new one. Without much parking at the trailhead, we made sure to turn around to make our exit easy which was a good thing. People had parked in the turn around area causing anyone who drove to the end to have to backup along a big ledge. I guess they didn't want to walk to their hike.
The hike began at 10,800-feet on an old mining road and immediately ascends a steep grade through wildflowers and boulder fields. The surrounding mountains would occasionally peek through the pines. As we climbed above tree line the forest gave way to open tundra and expansive views of the valley. At 1.3 miles lies Upper Blue Reservoir at 12,000 feet, where we spotted mountain goats on ledges above us.
We must be acclimating to the altitude since my heart was not pounding in my ears and no sucking air this time as we passed an old mine site.
The short detour to White Falls Loop brought us right up to a set of steep waterfalls with various flowers lining the banks of the falls.
We made it to Upper Blue Reservoir and were glad we got an early start. There was a steady flow of people coming up the trail.
As nice as it has been staying in such a nice place, we feel sad to see the continued development and destruction of so much of the natural area. As the new condos are added and increased number of people, we see the affects of the over use of the mountains. I do have to give the town of Breck credit for all of the efforts that have been made to clean up the mining destruction of the 1800s.
Who knew? We just like to learn about the history of the areas we visit. We learn so much from the docents. We visit Breckenridge for the outside activities often without thinking about the history here. This time we decided to visit some of the local museums and were pleasantly surprised.
We started at the Ski Museum which was a small room with plenty of things to look at and a good video of some of the people that helped start the skiing industry here.
The Barney Ford House was our favorite with his interesting story. Barney L. Ford, an escaped slave who prospered and became a prominent entrepreneur and black civil right leader in Colorado. Born into slavery in 1822, Ford was instilled with the importance of learning to read by his mother, who inspired his lifelong quest for education.
Born in 1822 to a Virginia slave and a white plantation owner, Barney L. Ford grew up in South Carolina where he learned to read and write from another servant. Ford escaped slavery at age twenty-six when his master hired him out to work on a Mississippi riverboat. He simply walked off the boat in Quincy, Illinois and fled to Chicago when he was told that he was a free man as long as he was in Illinois which did not recognize slavery. He never returned to the South.
Edwin Carter came to Breckenridge in 1868 seeking gold and fortune, but his goals changed when he saw the devastation mining had on the environment and local wildlife. Carter became a taxidermist and collected Rocky Mountain animal specimens in his museum, which doubled as his home.
Baker's Tank Trail
This trail does not have a great deal of elevation gain if you start at the top and connect with the Mountain Pride Trail to an old mining community. Mountain Pride Trail begins on Baker's Tank Trail and was used historically to haul ore from the Mountain Pride Mine to the rail line along Boreas Pass. The out and back trail is about 5 miles round trip depending on which route you take.
The railroad would use the water from the stream going into the tank to make steam for its engine. The tank is at 11,100 feet and start of the trail if starting at the north end is 10,000 ft. We have enjoyed mountain biking this trail in the past but decided to walk this day.
Circle the Summit
This 18-mile, 1,100' climb ride around Lake Dillon has one significant climb and descent over Swan Mountain on the south side of the lake. A definite heart thumper. The clouds were building when Mike suggested riding to Keystone before we hit Swan Mountain. I used the clouds and possible thunderstorms as an excuse to cut it short. I hate lightening. You can see the rest of the climb ahead. We had just completed the first half.
|Sapphire Point (the top of Swan Mountain)|
When we don't have a hike or bike ride planned, we take a morning walk. Today, we were half way up Peak 9 before we realized how far we had walked without water or anything else. I guess, we just get lost in our thoughts and conversation on such a great mountain. It made us a bit itchy to ski.