Sourdough-Niwot-Brainard loop

Priddy and Peter headed for Long Lake

Next up, an ambitious exploration on the far side of Caribou Pass in the Indian Peaks. I rounded up Peter and Priddy… and my car started jetting steam from under the hood. Crap! Plans were re-jiggered to not require four wheel drive, and we instead opted for the relatively boring Sourdough Trail.

The day was fabulous and we were feeling good. We ran almost the entire length of Sourdough (which is far rougher than I remember), one thing lead to another, and we found ourselves on the ski trails near Brainard Lake. Priddy was interested in Niwot Ridge, so we hiked up there, checked out the Alpine Research Station, and took a break on one of the many tundra hump summits at 11,800′. Hey, look at that! We’ve logged 20 miles already!

Five miles of descent on the Niwot Ridge road brought us comfortably back to the car and into Marathon distance range. We even saw a moose cross the trail in front of us which, for all my years in Colorado, I’ve never seen. Despite the inauspicious beginnings, it turned out to be a really nice, serendipitous day in the mountains with two friends.

Except for the four-digit sum spent in repairing the car, of course…

Summer has finally arrived in the high-country.

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