Every year I forget about that amendment to the Colorado state constitution that states, “All Coloradans Shall, During the Fourth-of-July Weekend, Go Camping”. We successfully introduced Joe to camping with a series of gentle car camping trips last summer and were looking forward to upping the ante this season. But our planned expedition to the Gore Range turned into a more suburban one at the huge and somewhat desolate two nights at the Prospector Campground on the shores of Lake Dillon.
Still, it turned out okay in the end. While the campground wasn’t as peaceful or wild as we’d planned, we had easy access to the lake (lots of stones to throw), and a superb view of the Tenmile and Gore Ranges across the lake. Instead of a hike around Lower Cataract Lake or up to Surprise Lake, we instead drove up to the Spruce Creek Trailhead and hiked up to Lower Crystal Lake. While this included a couple of exciting stream crossings and more snow than there should be in early July, we also got a beautiful day above treeline surrounded by big mountains.
We got in the requisite campfires, marshmallow toasting, and so forth. But we also got to watch the Dillon fireworks show from the comfort and safety of our tent on Saturday night. And on Sunday, we rode the free gondola at Breckenridge and the non-free chairlift and alpine slide. The downside was that, with all this excitement going on, Joe didn’t really nap and was a good deal crankier than usual for much of the trip. So it wasn’t quite as relaxing as we thought it would be (when is it ever?), but all in all, the summer camping season has started out auspiciously.