Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 2: Mt. Falcon Park to Echo Lake

Once up and on the way, we still had a while to go before reaching the top of the trail. It was still just as rough on me; this was pretty much my first real hiking experience, and boy what a way to start! We stopped a time or two for a handful or GORP and to let more ambitious bikers ahead of us. When we reached the top we found a picnic table so we sat and refueled; luckily the hard part was behind us. I was really tired of puking my guts up from the altitude sickness. We got back to hiking and ran into a nice biker. She gave us her number and told us if we were going back in the direction of Denver to give her a call. She'd have been more than happy to let us get showers, have a beer, and let us sleep on the couch. We would have taken her up on the offer, but there was no way we were tackling that trail a second time! The shower and beer did sound nice though...3 days on a Greyhound bus doesn't exactly leave you smelling as fresh as a daisy. We moved on though, not realizing that we just experienced the first of what would soon become many generous offers from such amazing people. Before we knew it we found the Castle Ruins. What an unexpected surprise! We walked around them for a bit and ran into an older couple going the same way as us. We told them we were walking the American Discovery Trail and were on our way to Evergreen. They were heading the same way and offered us a ride! We walked and talked the rest of the trail with them until we reached the parking lot. They had a tiny white pick-up that would prove to be one of the most uncomfortable rides we endured. I had to sit on top of Chuck's lap which I know didn't feel good for him, but I still think I got the rough end of the deal as the entire ride was downhill and my knees were forced into the dash and my head kept getting banged on the ceiling. But honestly, we were just glad to have the ride and from such nice people too!

They dropped us off near a Safeway where we promptly went in search of some Moleskin for our developing blisters. I can't tell you how much that stuff helped! We then crossed the street to a McDonald's where we charged the cell phone and shared a couple dollar menu items. Then it was time to explore! We set off walking and made it a little ways to Bergen Park where we found a Rec Center with showers! I believe they were a dollar or two but were well worth it at that point. I know I made use of the unlimited hot water. We got cleaned up and sat down outside to go over our game plan. We needed to find Squall Pass, according to our trail directions. We knew where it was, on the road up to Mt. Evans, but we also both knew I was just too sick for that climb in elevation. We hated to do it, but got the number for the only cab in town. He told us he'd be there in a couple hours to pick us up. We walked through the park and rolled a couple joints.

The cab came and he was a jolly old man who recommended we ride all the way up to the base of Mt. Evans and camp there. He wanted to stop halfway up for a pretty view of the mountains and we had him take our picture. Since we couldn't seem to find the trail for Squall Pass, we took him up on his offer to go ahead and drive us all the way up to Echo Lake. He dropped us off and we were pleasantly surprised to find the campground was free since it was off-season. And so began 3 beautiful days at Echo Lake, my final adjustment to the altitude, some delicious coffee and hot chocolate, and SNOW!


  1. Hi Chuck and Callie!

    This is Juan and Laura, an Argentinean couple hitch-hiking arund the world since 2005. We like your blog, but principally we like to know there are more nomads out there!!

    Shall we exchange links?

    We have been keeping our journals in

    I tried to send a private message through digihitch but couldn't. Si you can reply me at:

    Juan and Laura

  2. Just found your blog!! Very impressed so far. I am planning to start my own trip from Greenville, SC in or around April. Not sure where I want to end up but greatly looking forward to the adventure!! I really look forward to reading the rest of your story!!