Monday, August 1, 2011

Colourful Colorado

Today I finally got out into the great American outdoors and it doesn't get much better than amongst the 14ers in Colorado.

After seven days of living and breathing Wilderness Medicine and Backcountry Rescue, I had been trained and officially certified, the pressure was off and I was happy to be back out in the world.

I spent just over a week in Buena Vista, Colorado, a postcard town on the banks of the Arkansas River and the US home of white water river rafting. I however, did nothing but sit in classes, participate in drills, review and read notes and textbooks for hours, eat and sleep. That was literally my schedule for the entire seven days of the course... ok I lie, I did take a power-break to watch Entourage S8E1!

After successfully passing the course my classmates and I headed to Eddyline, the local brewery for a well earned pint before we all left the small town known as BV behind. Although I really didn't see any of the area by the time the course and the week was over I was quite happy to be moving on, not that far though, about 40 miles down the US-24, my next stop was another picture perfect Colorado town, Leadville.

When I decided to come to Colorado for the WRF course I knew the dates would be a tight fit with my NOLS commitments in Washington State, but what a shame it would be not to see any of this famously spectacular area. 

I could have not been more right, this morning I took in the Native Lake Hike, a 13km trail in the Mount Massive National Forest and it was striking to say the least. Summer wildflowers in every colour framed the trail and snow spotted mountains rose up on all sides, I was pleased that my biggest fear wasn't realised...being confronted with a big Black Bear or Mountain Lion!

Unfortunately my time in Colorado will come to an end all too soon but I have added the 54 Colorado 14ers ( to my to do list sometime in the future, I think I will need an entire summer (or two) for that!

Early morning picture perfect Leadville

A couple of the Colorado 14ers

Bristlecone Pines and summer wildflowers

Colorado Snow Caps

My first American outdoors experience

Native Lake



Home of the endangered Greenback Cutthroat Trout

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