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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two Scamps Roll Into Lovely Ouray, & Hiking A Notch In The Wall Trail With RV Friends

We hiked Bear Creek Trail yesterday with new RV friends Jim and Gayle, Debbie, a long time solo RV'er (five years and counting), and wily veteran Boondocker, Boonie. Why they entrusted us with another hike of our choosing I'll never know. The rough and narrow four wheel drive access road to the Bullion King Lake hike would have most people backpedal at our invitation to lead another outing. Gayle and Boonie opted to hike all the way down to the highway rather than risk a Ford crew-cab becoming their Coffin. 

Actually, I should be doing the Bullion King Lake post before this one, to keep things in order. But I am ever compelled by that "different drum," to stay out-of-step, to do things on the oblique, out of order, or upside down. I guess it's a control issue; it makes me feel like I have sovereignty over my little "King's Men" life. Besides, it's my way of poking Satan, God, and "Old Griz" for picking on me. In the end, I realize, they will burn/strike-down/eat me, but I'm not one to worry how I depart this world for the next. 

A group cliff-side pose... "Say Cheese."

We started early, much to "so-not-a-morning-person" Jim's chagrin. It's necessary, to avoid afternoon thunderstorms that have been rolling in every afternoon like clockwork. Boonie's been setting his watch by the first rolls of thunder and hasn't been late for one single social hour. Simply uncanny regularity this monsoon season.

The thing with Bear Creek Trail is, the drama is not so much Far View as it is Vertical Drop. Not to mention any names, but there is a recovering acrophob among the group... I say "recovering" because she (oops), er, they, seem to willing to poke their "demon" by climbing ladders, summiting Angel's Landing, and, now, hiking a oft narrow notch-of-a-trail on the edge of an abyss (and no, it isn't Debbie... she's fearless). I can empathize with someone who comes west from Florida, where the tallest natural wonder in the state is an orange tree that failed to get pruned. It would be like me wading out into rough, pre hurricane seas... with riptides and strange things with stingers. I'd want my Mommy. 

That's Jim in the safari hat, getting a little too close to the edge for my comfort!
I think he was looking for Gayle's hiking pole... she apparently dropped it over the edge
while shooting photos

Unfortunately, Boonie didn't think Bear Creek Trail was "dog friendly." Coffee Girl seemed fine, but you know how Dads worry about their little girls. So they turned around when the going got dicey. However, "Sara" (serendipity) took pity, and while on their way down stumbled upon a lost baby Bighorn Sheep... bleating for it's Mommy. Boonie got some great photos of Lamby Poo; be sure to check them out on his blog

The Girls
 All in all, it was about a five mile hike... the hardest part being steep switchbacks for the first mile. We were glad for the early start, and so was Jim.

Jim hollers for the Girls to "pose," he motions them closer to the
edge... but nobody moves. Who listens to "directors."

Jim and Gayle, wondering how miners hauled this heavy equipment up that trail...

Debbie, Bobbie and Jim

Heading down

Another look for the lost hiking pole (sigh) 
So it was a real delight to reunite with Two Scamps (the name of their first RV Blog) in the presence of both our new, and familiar, RV friends. Eric and Maureen had just returned from an around the world sojourn... backpacking, staying in hostels, no set itinerary... just playing it loose, on the fly, globetrotting from Chile, Argentina (and other South American countries I would deem "dangerous"), to New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Thailand, and South Korea, to name most, but not all locales. 

We admire and envy Scamps free, adventurous spirits. Where I see danger, they see excitement. Where I see expensive, they do it on a shoestring. Where I see travel hassle, they ease through turnstiles. Not that it didn't "rain" on them, mind you, because it did. It's that they persevered in spite of "rain," with just the packs on their backs, and without a set plan, "Where do you want to go next?" 

It was fun to ask Eric and Maureen questions and learn from their experiences... what to do, what NOT to do... like get too close to monkeys that bite and are known to carry rabies. It made me think that the word "adventure" is so misused on cushy RV blogs... including my own. As they went on describing their travels I couldn't help but question. What I do, where I go, does not live up to "Adventure." What I do is cushy, predictable and safe. I'd like to move closer to the "edge," like Jim did in that photo. That's where one is challenged. That's where one becomes interested, and, more importantly, interesting. 

Two Scamps rolled into town and are camped up at the Ampitheater Campground.  We decided to host a spontaneous After Hike Meet and Greet get together...
from left, Scamp Eric, Scamp Maureen, Incognito Boonie (under the hat), Gayle, Lenard (Marathon Man), Jim, Bobbie, and Debbie. 

John Q moved on to Telluride, so he just missed meeting Scamps.
Beer and wine flowed, tongues loosed, and a good time was had. I found a big pink bottle of specialty beer in the liquor store that I couldn't pass up. It's VooDoo Donuts inspired, Maple and Bacon flavored. "It must be for Breakfast," someone said. A breakfast beer... It's about time.


  1. Boy, what a great time it looks like you all had. Those photos are spectacular. Lots of smiles. Thanks for new blog sites. (new to me)

  2. I'd say that trail looks Very adventurous. Don't cut yourself short.

  3. For all the reasons your photos show, Bear Creek trail is a great hike. Can New Zealand, Australia, or Chile offer better? When you think of the differs trials this area and Utah has to offer and the logistics of getting to other countries, I'll settle for the U.S. Missed being with you guys, but am enjoying Telluride's many unique trails. Until our paths cross, Happy Trails!
    John Q

  4. I don't think I'd have any trouble letting my hiking pole stay where it landed in a spot like that! I slid off the camper steps in the rain accidently in the rain this morning...you never know where accidents will strike, so I'm not tempting fate and inviting them! Great looking hike with a fun looking group!

  5. Walden Creek rv steveJuly 24, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Mark- had to laugh when looking at your picture of the Ouray visitors center--- If I wanted info about Ourays trails and hikes I can think of a better resource than the Visitors center- The real vistors center is up the road behind the Imax window!( quit pickin on us Floridians!)We happen to like the beach!

  6. There you go again. Off on another of those trails with lots of exposure and more terror for my acrophobia.

  7. Wow - for both how incredible the scenery is and for the fact that you are up there.

  8. Gumo,
    You should roll through Ouray... nice and cool up here today. Thanks

    In places it was adventurous...
    I guess I'm getting restless again. So what else is new :)

    John Q.
    Your points are well taken... I'll use them to put out the "fire" and be patient. Hope you are having fun over in Telluride. Don't miss Smugglers Brew Pub!!!

    Pam and Wayne,
    Thanks for commenting. When Bobbie or I fall these days we kid each other about breaking a hip. It's not as funny as it used to be :((
    Hope you have a good bruise to show off for your fall.

    Walden Steve,
    I'm just teasing Floridians about their "Flat Land Existence." You know me :))
    You need to give me a quote on your motorhome... a good deal!!!

    Wow, You're back :))
    I know from John Q that he caught you red handed on Bear Creek Trail. I think your acrophobia is a ruse :))

    Jim and Sandie,
    It is "up there" alright, and the scenery is incredible. Some days I have to pinch myself. It's fun to share it with friends, too... to see the joy (and fear) in their eyes.

  9. Like Boonie, I would be a bit of a worried Dad, but many times we underestimate the smarts & prowess of our furry four legged friends. It is they who should be worried about us most of the time. Nice looking trail, nice looking hike......

  10. Al,
    Yeah, It's the humans that fall. I think it was the loose footing combined with chipmunks who darted over the edge... and Coffee Girl could resist chasing them.
    Thanks for commenting!

  11. Mark, we have enjoyed reconnecting with you and Bobbie and appreciate your hospitality immensely! The hikes you've taken us on have been beautiful and (thankfully) not as challenging as the "Bear Creek Trail";^) (Where you see excitement I see danger!) There are no comparisons to be made as to what's prettier or better. We've enjoyed Ouray just as much as we've enjoyed other parts of the world. I would never dismiss any place on the map - life is truly one grand adventure. And we certainly wouldn't characterize your adventures as "cushy, predictable, and safe"! We hope to see you again soon somewhere down the road. Maureen & Eric

  12. Eric and Maureen,
    Thanks, guys! I guess it shows... that I'm not a "World Traveler"... because of the way my myopic mind sorts my surroundings into hierarchies of "prettiness." :((
    We are so glad you joined us in Lovely Ouray for a spell, and that it overlapped with other wanderers and "curmudgeons" :)). I hope we can cross paths in Arizona this winter... Madera Canyon, maybe.
    See ya.
    mark and bobbie


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