Monthly Archives: June 2018

Brown Creek loop

Today I set out on the 16 mile Brown Creek Loop.  The loop follows Brown Creek and Little Brown Creek to their sources, essentially circling Mt. White.  I went counter clockwise climbing towards the headwaters of Little Brown Creek.  The trail is steep, climbing 4,500ft in the first 6 miles.  Just before tree line, a small meadow appeared with an incredible amount of flowers.

  

The trail wound higher to above tree line, maxing out around 13,000ft.  It was a beautiful day, a little wind, but sunny.

Once I got to the top, the trail followed a forest road to the edge of a lake.  It then was a very runable single track down.   I made the journey a little longer since I took a wrong turn somewhere along the way.  After 17 miles and 4,500ft of climb, I’m happy to be heading to Whiskey Wednesday at Deerhammer Distillery.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
05:27:39 04:58:30 17.13 3.44 16.11 4,481.63
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.

 

Some random stuff

I thought I’d add some random stuff…  the picture below is on top of Midland hill.  I’m brave enough to let the dogs off leash on this trail since there really isn’t any place they can go.  Unfortunately, about 1 minute after I took this picture, Izzy found a bird’s nest and of course Darby pounced.  It took me a couple minutes to get the birds out of their mouths.

Tracy had to head back to Austin today but yesterday we went to Leadville.  We started climbing Mt Sherman, but the weather was not good so we turned back about a mile in.  However, we did watch some of our friends finish the Leadville marathon.  D and Mike both won entries into next years Leadville 100.

I also got a text from my friend Dave in Michigan.  When I was there this winter he showed me all the bee hive stuff he’d bought.  In just a month, check out how well the hive is doing.  Also, his garden is booming probably because of the bees.

 

Camping and then Mt Huron with Tracy and the dogs

On Tuesday, we all went camping in the Winfield area.  I had scoped out a spot when I hiked La Plata last week.  It required us to drive the truck about a mile and a half up the 4wd road to a meadow with a creek.

The dogs had a blast digging up every possible hole.

The sunset was incredible.  It got a little cool during the night but we slept decently until around 2am when a bunch of coyotes started howling.  Izzy was growling a bit, but Darby just shook.

We hiked up the Colorado trail to the Mt Huron trailhead.

Once we got to the basin, we decided to let the dogs run.  Darby did great, but Izzy can’t handle all the critters and wouldn’t listen.  In the picture below, you can see Izzy racing off.

Once back on the leash, Izzy did well.

Once we got to the top, there was a lot of dust.  Actions shots below of the dogs licking their noses.

Darby loves the snow – she is like a polar bear and rolls in it.

At the end of the day, we hiked 13 miles and 4,500ft of climb.

 

High Lonesome 2018 maps

I’ve been running and hiking different parts of the course and have found some of the trail intersections confusing.  To help out, I’ve been using some maps that I’ve created from Caleb’s GPX file.  I’ve linked to all the maps below plus I’ve added some info on a few apps that allows you to carry offline versions of the map on your phone.  If you need help, just email me at: jim@skelmo.com

Link to the profile as a PDF:  HL_profile_2018_adj

Caltopo map if you want to create your own maps.

Geospatial course maps allow you to view your location on a PDF document on your mobile device without having a cell signal.

  • If you use the AllTrails app, I’ve created a customer map that can download by clicking the picture or link below.

Click here for the All Trails map

  • You can install the free Avenza app (iOS or Android) for viewing geospatial PDF course maps. Once you have the Avenza app installed, download and add any or all of the geospatial PDF course maps.  I’ve found that keeping the maps in a DropBox account is the easiest way to transfer to your device.  One recent change in the app is that the free version limits you to 2 active maps.  To make it easy, I’ve created multiple maps giving detail of the entire course.

This link will give you a NE,NW,SE,SW map for the different part of the course.  The advantage of using these is that they have a much higher resolution.

This link will give you an entire map of the course.  Note that you can use this to follow the general direction of the course, but it is not high enough resolution in most cases.

Out and back

Today I attempted the out and back that is on the High Lonesome race I’m doing in August. It starts in the ghost town of St Elmo and follows a trail due North over Laws Pass. The pass is 12.3k feet and separates the drainage’s of Cottonwood and Chalk Creeks

 

It’s about 4 miles to the top of the pass and about 2,400ft of climb.  It’s another 3 miles down the other side descending about 2,100ft.  I then turned around and went back.

It took me about 4 hours and 40 minutes round trip.  Beautiful day, but tiring.

La Plata

On Wednesday, I drove back to Winfield and went up the other 4wd road to the trailhead of La Plata.  The approach is a short hike that follows Clear Creek through a gorge.  It flattens out into a beautiful valley that ends in a box canyon.

The trail climbs the canyon wall to a very long ridge that has many false summits.  The ridge slowly climbs over 2,000 ft to the summit of La Plata.

There were so many different type of flowers on the ridge.

La Plata is the 5th highest peak in the continental US at 14,360 ft.

It was another sunny and warm day and the neighbors were out enjoying the weather.

I got a little lost in the marshy area of the trail where you couldn’t tell if it was the trail or a stream.

The Weekend

It was a busy end of the week.  I climbed Huron Peak on Saturday – details coming below; but  my college adviser (Kathy) and her husband (John) stayed on Sunday and Monday night with us.  We had a great time with them and their 3 little dogs.  We went to eat, went on hikes, and even did yoga.  Once of their dogs is very dexterous and can jump 4 feet in the air.

Also, the dogs both got summer haircuts.  Darby is really soft and Izzy looks like Simba from the Lion King.

On Saturday, I drove to Winfield which is an old mining ghost town deep in the mountains.  It happens also to be the turn around point for the Leadville 100 race so I’m very familiar with the area.  I wanted to climb Huron Peak.  The picture below is the mountain which was actually taken on my way to hike La Plata yesterday.

The trail follows a 4wd road for 2.5 miles then turns into a single track that winds up a canyon.   The peaks in the background are the “Three Apostles”.  Huron is to the left hidden by the ridge I’m circling around.

Once you top the ridge, it’s a large bowl that you slowly climb up.  There are well-graded switch-backs climb the ridge.  It was a beautiful day and I moved quickly to the summit

 

The views are incredible from the top

The view with a little Google magic