Autumn in the Eagles Nest

With my days winding down in Colorado, I’ve been a bit of social butterfly.

Every night this week has me meeting up with friends.

Dinners shared, conversations enjoyed, and the occasional pint of beer to accompany it all.

I love my community.  I’m going to miss the people in it.  But taking off for the next few months if just something I have to do.

So I am squeezing in social engagements when I can.

And part of those engagements is shared time outdoors.

My friends Rachel and Mike graciously invited me with them for a trip along the Gore Range Trail that runs through Summit County.  With the excellent Summit County Stage bus system, a point-to-point hike can be done without needing to spot cars or worry about making a loop.  The bus even stops by popular trailheads!  I’ve used it before for various trips, and I’ve always enjoyed the ease of use.

The three of us did a quick overnighter that took in classic Autumn weather and a reminder of how quickly this season ends before winter comes.

We started off at Copper Mountain with the traffic of I70 below us.

The colors of the willows and the ground cover were lovely to observe. But the sky was rapidly turning gray, and the temperatures were dropping.

As we were popping about treeline towards Uneva Pass, the weather moved in quickly.

The wind whipped, and fat and wet flakes of snow came down.

We soon dipped below into the trees and found a sheltered campsite about halfway through our route.

A hot meal with a nip of medicinal whiskey eased us into the cold and wet night.

The following morning we awoke to blue skies.

As we walked the trail, we realized we were not the first to walk the trail that morning.

We did the steady climb to Eccles Pass and enjoyed the brisk weather.

The reward at the top of the pass reminded me of why Autumn is my favorite time to backpack.

We shifted gears and started our descent below the pass.

The alpine terrain was left behind. The Autumn woods was enjoyed.

The descent was made further into the valley.

We continued to walk the wooded trail.

A side trail was taken to a trailhead (with a steeper climb than anticipated to a ridge! 🙂 ). About thirty minutes later, the bus brought us back to the car, and an after-hike meal was enjoyed in nearby Dillon, CO.  Just in time as the weather was moving back in with looked to be more rain or even snow on the way.

A great weekend trip and a way to catch up with friends before I take off for the next few months.

All the photos.

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