Waking up at 5:30 is no easy task. Waking up at 5:30 from a comfortably warm tent is even more of a challenge-but not so much when you "gotta go". My first thought was that it probably was chilly. I was right-but only a bit o' chill to the bones. It was a downright awesome looking day. Pull on my shorts, lace up my boots, sit in Harry's hooptie (seat heaters), and munch down a Power Bar and Starbucks Double Shot Espresso before taking to the trail.
We all loaded up in my beater, and headed 1.8 miles up a 4WD trail. It was there that we spied some great campsites for future use. We also went through one of the most beautiful Aspen groves in memory (pictures are coming). Ahhh...the beautiful sky, the smell of pine, and great views. Heaven on earth.
The trek up Mt Elbert took us along a steadily uphill trail that ended with a great view after 4 miles, and 4,100' vertical. The only miscalculation was that Aaron and I thought we would drink more water. We overloaded our packs with mostly water/Gatorade. I guess better safe than sorry. Mark hustled the last 20 yards to be the first to summit, while Harry and Michelle were about 15 minutes behind our pace. There were 50-60 people and a few dogs to greet us at the summit! So much for mountain solitude, and reflective thinking. I have to admit that it was cool to make a few phone calls to G and Dad. Ain't technology great.
The trip downhill was fairly easy. I can report no soreness, broken bones, broken skin, or anything of the like.
After loading up our gear, we headed to Keystone via Vail. We stopped there for a bit to eat, then headed to our condo for a nice soak in the hottub. After that we decided to try and watch one of the all-time stinker movies--Passenger 57. After an hour of making fun of the movie-lights out. We woke at the crack of 3:15am-took showers, and headed home. It was good to see G, and hear about her weekend excursion as well.