July 15th 2015
I'd like to dedicate my day of hiking to our good buddy "The Chosen Hiker". Like her, I've embarked in a full day of hiking without doing to much actual hiking. We didn't get up and going until 9am. Then we spent time at Subway; since I was going to hike something different than the other guys we split up. I started walking north from Winter Park and kept walking until I passed the town of Fraser 3 miles later. Eventually a kid that saw me trying to hitch earlier gave me a ride to Granby, well a couple miles short of it. He mentioned that he spends some time in Jupiter Florida, his father lives there. There was a McDonalds near the spot he dropped me off and I went in for a second lunch. Some nice folks started talking to me and come to find out they're from Jupiter too. I mentioned that I got married there and my wife is from Jupiter. Before you know it my plans change and I have a ride to the south end of the lake. With rain looming in every direction I decided to hike the south end of the lake and meet the CDT on the eastern side and hike up to the city of Grand Lake. For the last month I've been day dreaming of watching the storms roll in from the Gulf of Mexico while sitting at this awesome bar in Cedar Key Florida. I think walking alongside Grand Lake with a beer while getting hailed on will be close enough.
After 8 miles of dirt road walking while listening to my mini Jambox (Big Sean and OCMS if you were wondering), I finally reached the southern point of the lake. Wandering around with no agenda I stumbled across Colorado's smallest bar. The Red Dog Saloon at the Arapaho Valley Ranch. I met Lee and we sat and talked for a while. Eventually it was time to hike on. The storms were coming back and this time from all directions, my lackadaisical attitude towards the day suddenly changed and it was time to boogie. I raced the rain and was eventually caught and subsequently drenched, around 8:45 I reached my planned campsite only to find it full of tents. After some internal debate I decided to go check it out. Turns out it was a group of Boy Scouts on a week long canoe trip. This particular night they were all across the bay doing their wilderness survival badge. I set up my tent nearby and sat down by a FIRE with two leaders Jimmy and Owen. We had a good conversation while I cooked my dinner. I think they were happy to hear that I worked for the scouts, am an Eagle scout and am even up to date on my youth protection certificate. After dinner my exhaustion kicked in and I hit the sack. It was an interesting day and I met lots of great people. Meeting people is really half of the reason I hike, you never know who you will meet and how they might impact your day.