What was originally planned as a small group of friends heading into the backcountry turned into a large group in a day. Spontaneity at its finest. I had a trip planned to the Indian Peaks Wilderness for a while and had a small group that agreed to join in on the fun. However, 24 hours before we were planning to leave, my brother in Missouri called me and said he and his friend Drew, along with his golden retriever, Ponca, were driving through the night to join us in Colorado. Nice. The weekend was full of good vibes. We woke up early the first day and headed out from the trailhead, taking our time to take in the environment around us. The changing colors of the aspen trees, the constant gurgling of the stream that wound its way around the trail the whole time, and the three moose we saw along the way. We stopped frequently for snacks, to cool off in the water, and because we really just weren't in a huge hurry. When we did arrive at our destination, Crater Lake, we were definitely relieved and in awe of the beauty around us. Some promptly went off to find various shade patches to take an afternoon nap. Others slowly set up camp and got ready for the evening. As the sun dipped beneath the peaks, we brought out the stoves, whiskey, and beer, to begin the process of cooking dinners for eight people. As we were doing this we heard a distant, "YeeYee!" I instantly knew who it was. My good friend Tyler had mentioned that he may show up after us, and he actually did and he found our campsite with ease. All was well. We joked, we ate, we laughed, and all passed out fairly soon after the stars came out to dance.
We woke the next morning before the sun, made coffee and breakfast, and tried to stay in our sleeping bags as long as possible to fight off the crisp air of the morning. We went down to the lake to try our hand at some fly fishing before reluctantly packing up camp and making our way back the same way we came in to make it back to our cars. Not before an end of the trail dip in the mountain lake near the trailhead though.
It's always nice to have brother Sam come visit and spend time in the mountains together. We are both so at home in the mountains and the mountains, quite literally, made us who we are today. Major life choices for me were heavily influenced by being closer to the mountains. I'll never get tired of seeing a new alpine lake, summiting a peak, or watching the alpenglow on the tops of the peaks as the sun sets and rises. As a good friend once said, "mountains made me."
Here's some photos from this particular weekend