4 am two adventurers set out as the rest of the world slept. Staffing at Summit Semester in Pagosa Springs comes with the unique bonus of one day off a week to explore the beauty that is out our back door. My coworker Max and I headed three hours to the Alpine Loop in Lake City, Colorado. The sun was just beginning to rise as we went over the pass to see the mountain we were to summit.
We figured that 4 miles up would be nicer on a bike when we had to come back down. So we began the slow ascent to the trail head where we then locked up the bikes to hike the remaining 3.5 miles to the Summit of Uncompahgre.
The actual hiking trail began at 11,000ft and we slowly meandered up the remaining 3,000ft, stopping regularly to snap photos and catch our breath. At the top however, breath was again taken away as we enjoyed the incredible panorama of Colorado's beautiful wilderness. Multiple 14,000ft peaks were visible in blue, sown together by mossy green valleys. Those sights cannot be captured or communicated but rather their beauty takes hold in the memory and the worship that it arouses.
What a beautiful day it was! We hiked back to the bikes, biked down the last 4 miles (we were both very happy that we had the bikes since our knees were ready for a break.)
Stopping in Creed, we checked out a local taco place and made our way back to Pagosa, arriving after dark. Again - what a day!