The Prodigal Sons Return

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I am going to breakdown our trip to Colorado in two parts, the backpacking and the sight-seeing. The trip overall, was fantastic! We left the airport in Knoxville, TN at around 5:00am arriving in Grand Junction, CO at 10:30am. We had reserved the cheapest rental car we could and was suprised at getting a brand new Nissan Frontier crew cab 4×4 truck. Pictures and videos to come on the rental truck excursions!

Our backpacking schedule was to leave for Blue Lakes on Friday morning early and we got started right on time. We arrived at the trailhead, a lot farther away than we thought, about 10:00am. I think my pack weighed in at about 25 lbs. for this trip. We had food and clothes for two nights and three days that added up to more than what i thought.

The hike in was one of the most difficult hikes I have been on to date. The elevation, 9,000 at the trail head and over 11,100 at the camping area, was definately a surprise. I had a hard time catching my breathe on multiple occasions. We literally went 1/4 mile before we were really sucking air! The very last video is a time lapse video from Darrin’s GoPro HD camera of the entire trip up. Very cool stuff!

Enough chit-chat, I will add some pictures and videos. Feel free to comment or ask questions.




Countdown to Colorado

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The countdown has begun. T-36 hours until our departure to Colorado. We will be leaving tomorrow evening to start the journey. I think I have finalized what I am going to bring. I will list the gear below.

GoLite Trek 72L pack 32.7 oz.

Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout tent 39.5 oz.

REI Mojave 15* down bag 39 oz.

Thermarest Z-Lite pad 13.7 oz.

Big Agnes Pumphouse Stuff Sack/Instaflator 4.8 oz

^ Black Diamond Headlamp, MSR Ti spoon, FAK, lighter, etc. 15.5 oz

Snow Peak Gigastove 3.75 oz

Snow Peak canister 4.5 oz

REI Minimalist Pot 6.3 oz

This a bit heavier than I normally carry, but I am unsure of some lighter options given the new area I will be in. Darrin is taking his alcohol setup and I am bringing a canister stove just as a “in case” item.

The following is my clothes items I intend to carry/use. The night temps in Ouray, Co. has been in the high 40’s this week. The reports I have read suggest to subtract about 10+ degrees for camping/hiking at the higher eleavtions in the area. So I am prepared for 30 degree temps.

Columbia Dri-Climate convertible pants

Smartwool wool socks

Patagonia Capilene 1 S/S

Patagonia Capilene 2 L/S

Marmot Dri-Clime jacket

Dri-Ducks UL 2 Rain Suit

Mont Bell UL Down Jacket

Asolo Matic boots

I will post some pics throughout the trip on my twitter feed (@jcravens), then I will do a complete trip report here when we return.