With about three months left in his stay at Mission: Wolf, Parker and I made a vow to get up to an alpine lake in the Sangre de Cristos before he left. With a little over one week left, we got it done.
Two friends joined us for the first half of the long but moderate (for the Sangres) walk. In total, 7ish miles up 2,500ish feet brought us to Macey Lakes. It was billed as one of the lesser-traveled paths around--which we were after--and that turned out to be true. We camped one night at the lower lake and I think saw four other humans. I relished that night in the fact that 340 million people live in this country and we had to share such a crazy beautiful place with only four of them.
Hiking another mile up to the upper lake in the morning, a funny thing happened. We were standing and staring at the ridgeline above the lake, spitting hypotheticals about how we would get to the top if we were to do it. Within a few minutes we spotted a solo 50-something year old lady bombing up to the top along one of those hypotheticals.
I will admit Parker was immediately more inspired than me, but it was then we looked at the clock, realized it was now or never, and started to put one foot in front of the other behind our fearless angel/leader/hero ahead of us on her way to the top. We ended up wandering a bit left of where she went, but we did run into her at the top to enjoy the view and conversation for a few minutes.
And a view it was indeed. You could see Crestone and the San Luis Valley one way, turn around, and catch the Wet Mountain Valley in the other direction from the same spot.