Lake city Colorado

Back in the first week of September, my brother and I both found ourselves with unexpected breaks in our respective schedules before substantially break-free periods were to set in. Seeing an opportunity, I talked him into a trip to Lake City, Colorado, a little town in the middle of the San Juans that I've long been interested in visiting and that provided easy access to fantastic hiking. Fall had already arrived in the region by that point. The temperature fell below freezing every night and the aspens above town went from sorta yellow to blazing gold in just the time we were there. It was a well-timed visit.

  • Roadside between Lake City and Creede Colorado.

  • The desolate landscape of Snow Mesa near Spring Creek Pass. It might look like Nebraska, but we're at over 12,000 ft. here. It's not a grassy plain; it's alpine tundra.

  • David, the sheep herder who was living alone up on the Mesa for the summer. He hadn't seen anyone in 3 days at this point and it was clear that he was eager to chat. Not having any connection to the world below he was anxious to hear what the weather was going to be like and whether we had seen his boss' red pickup down in Creede (he was expecting to drive the sheep down into the valley for the winter any day).

  • Along the trail to Handies Peak — the 14er that we attempted but didn't quite attain. Blisters...

  • Gunnard admiring the views along Highway 149 above Lake City.