The Little Trip that Could
First of all, I apologize for the lack of timeliness on this report; it happened a month ago. Since then a few things have happened - the start of a new school year, my starting a new job, and then a little rainstorm called Issac. Actually, this entire trip was in doubt, hence the title; it was much like "The Little Engine that Could"...I had to wait on a refinance of my house before I could plan it. Luckily, everything fell into place, I worked at my old job into the last week of July, then headed West the day after my last day.
I had wanted to bring my whole crew, but my oldest, being 17 and working a summer job, was too busy. Twin #1 decided she would rather spend time in front of the air conditioner at her grandmother's, so I was left with my one child who still loves the outdoors as much as me.
Driving through Texas, I showed her some of the sights I discovered last year:
We arrived a little too late in the day to get any fishing in, and it was a bit rainy to boot...still, I never get tired of the view of Mt Blanca:
The next day, we headed into the San Juans, passing through the colorful town of Creede on the way:
We finally arrived at our trailhead - the Weminuche Creek Trail:
This trail climbs out of the Rio Grande canyon, by Rio Grande Reservoir, and is pretty steep in places, particularly for flatlanders like us with little time to acclimate:
By the time we got to a stream crossing, my partner was showing all the signs of dehydration/altitude sickness. We went up a steep section, and she asked if we could stop, so we made camp. After a bit of a rest, my youngest seemed to revive a bit, so we headed back down to the crossing and tried a few casts; I had a few strikes, but couldn't get a hook set. We went back to camp, and by this time I was feeling it too. However, I knew the trail flattened out eventually - all of these streams flow in glacier-sculpted, "U" shaped valleys. I just didn't know how far ahead this easing of the grade was. I went ahead on my own, and within a few minutes, I found what I was looking for:
I had hoped that we could continue on the next day to this spot; from there, we could fish the entire valley. However, my youngest was still having problems, so we decided to break camp and head on to plan "B". After a trip through Slumgullion Pass, and a stop for lunch in Gunnison, we headed for Leadville.
Continued in part 2.