Camping at 11,000 feet

After 2 days of nursing headaches, walking slowly, and drinking loads of water while adjusting to the lack of O2 at 11,000 feet, we were finally up to some hiking and exploring of the enormous mountains which surrounded us at our dry campsite up above Leadville, CO at the LDMA property. We ran the metal detector, and found an old axe head, iron nails and scrap metal from the mines, and lots of silver ore (so we think) inside the rocks. There are old and new mine shafts and holes dug every 50 feet or so, where iron, silver, and gold have been found. One such hole had the vegetation around it pushed inward, making it apparent something quite large had recently climbed in and made it home for the day. Upon further inspection, we discovered very large cat prints, and cat scat near the opening. Only the day before, we had a gentleman in his pick-up stop to warn us he’d just seen a mountain lion in the valley just below us. Pretty neat! After reaching our summit at 12,000 feet, (and I say Our summit, because the mountains just kept going UP, and our stomachs were calling us back to camp), we began our decent and it began to SNOW! What fun to be out in the mountains in September and have the sun beaming down one minute and the next being pelted with wind gusts carrying snow flakes! It didn’t last long enough, and we all wished for the new weather to continue. Alas, the sun came back. We dug for gold some, but didn’t come across any. It is difficult to find especially without water. I found a bit while we were at the ranch in northern Colorado while trying to fish with Chase. The water was a bit too cloudy for the trout, but not for the gold. After leaving Leadville, we stopped at a creek along highway 70 towards Denver and panned for a few hours. Each pan had some color, and as we were leaving, Marcus pointed out that I, too, had gotten some color (my back was burned from leaning over the river).

We spent the next evening in Cheyenne, WY at the A B Campground, then headed north into Spearfish, SD.

Published in: on September 14, 2007 at 3:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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