Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Sunrise from Handies Peak - July, 2020

Colorado 14er Handies Peak with American Peak in the San Juan Mountain Range
Sunrise from Colorado 14er Handies Peak - Prints available

This weekend, was kind of a cool 14er reunion for James, Brad and I.  The three of us used to hike 14ers together often when we were in our 20's.  So it was cool to catch up and relive a little of those experiences.  Jimmy and Lindsey joined us this time for a hike in the dark to catch the sunrise from the top.  We started at 2AM on the trail.  Yes... waking up is the hardest part.  In the dark, we lost the trail a couple times near Sloan Lake and had to backtrack using our GPS, but had just enough time to reach the ideal height to see the show.  The sunrise was cloudless, but the sky turned all colorful.  We were wondering if we'd be able to see the NEOWISE comet, but I think it was on the horizon behind the mountains while we were on our way up.

Mt. Sneffels in the distance

The Vermilion Group in the distance

Half Peak left of center (I think)

Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn

Surprisingly, there were a few other parties up there for the sunrise.  I suppose even the more remote 14ers are gaining popularity.  The hike down was leisurely and we got to "frolic" in the wildflowers which American Basin is known for.  The flowers weren't as lush this year as I've seen in the past, but still good. 

Sloan Lake

Jimmy decided that he's not a fan of heights on this hike, especially as we drove along the shelf road with hoards of 4-wheelers passing us along the way.  We stopped in Lake City for the best burger ever at the American Elk Grill and Inn before our long drive back home.  It was a lot of driving and hiking and not a lot of sleeping.  Man, that seemed like it was a lot easier on your body a decade ago.