If you’re up for an hour-long drive up a dirt road, going no more than 10 miles per hour due to the washboard you’re driving over, then definitely check out the Hermosa Creek Trail area, up above Purgatory Ski Resort in Colorado.
Pull in at the entrance to Purgatory Resort and take the first dirt road (#578) to your right. Then keep following it, even after you start asking yourself if you screwed up and went the wrong way. You’ll eventually come upon a few signs directing you to the trail, giving you some peace of mind that you’re on the right path, and not leading your family into a death trap.
Don’t get me wrong, the result of this nighttime drive is absolutely beautiful, but we were not able to experience the view until the next morning, as we arrived well past O’ dark thirty. So, I’d recommend getting an early start as I am sure the drive was spectacular, and I’m looking forward to seeing it for myself on the drive out.
When we awoke that first morning, we found ourselves surrounded by aspen and pine trees and discovered we were parked right alongside the creek. I guess nothing this beautiful comes without a little work, and a lot of nighttime driving.
La Tortuga Lesson #2: Wake early. Depart for new destination early. Arrive in the daylight. Sit back with a cool Happy Hour drink.
To read more Lessons from La Tortuga, click here.
Our hope has been to catch the fall colors throughout Colorado, arriving late this year due to the extra moisture we’ve had, and we might just be getting our wish. Hints of yellow and promises of orange are making their way into the landscape, eye candy for the soul. Summer has always been my main squeeze, but fall, without a doubt, is my weekend fling.
Apparently, we camped smack in the middle of bow-hunting season by the looks of all the camo around here. Well, at least I think it’s camo, it’s a little hard to see. HA! So, taking a real hike seems a bit like walking in front of a firing squad. Plus, Gregg decided to go for a run at our last camp spot and now has a foot the size of a small child’s thigh, limping around in an 8 (ok maybe just 7) pain level. Lessons here? Running is bad for your health when you’re 49 and asking your wife how your foot looks every 5 minutes is annoying.
Noah and I made good use of our time walking up and down the creek. Not along the creek, in the creek. It was the first time he used the water shoes we got him that he swore he would never wear on this trip. Parents- 1, Kid- 0. He even assigned himself a school project; collecting materials in and around the creek to make a boat that could travel down-stream. School sure is better outdoors!
If I had a choice, I’d spend another few days around the Hermosa Creek Trail, but along with the colors, the cool temperatures are also arriving, reminding us of our goal to depart Colorado before we need to stop and buy a set of snow tires. And as October is right around the corner, we all know it could come at any time. So, we’re off to Telluride where Quito gets to visit the vet and Dr. Smolen, an old pal of Gregg’s from the Durango days.
Will we make it back to Hermosa Creek again? I know I’d love to but with all the beautiful places in Colorado to explore, it’s unlikely. However, if we did decide to return one day, I think I’d opt for a 4WD vehicle. It’s certainly not required, but it might make the washboard roads a whole lot easier to manage.