Thursday, June 30th – Friday, July 1st – Juniper Pass 2.0 and Elk Meadow Hike

A quick check of the weather Thursday morning showed a good window for Dave, Alex, and Trisha to ride to Juniper Pass again.  So we ate some breakfast, packed up gear, and headed to Bergen Park.  Trisha was hoping that the adjustments to her bike the previous day would allow her to feel better and make it to the top of the pass.  The adjustments definitely did, she rocked the ride and even went above and beyond…. without realizing it.  Within the first few miles Alex lost sight of Trisha, before she could point out the elk on the side of the road.  Dave was the first one back to the car, seeing Trisha first and then Alex about a mile behind.  Once back at the car, he headed to the nearby lake to wait for the girls.  When Alex arrived at Juniper Pass, she was surprised that she had not seen Trisha descending, or waiting at the pass.  She checked her phone, only seeing a message from Dave letting her know he was back at the car.  She sent a message back saying she had not seen Trisha, but was at Juniper.  Dave thought maybe Trisha had turned around at the camp just before the pass, and Alex thought maybe she had gone to the lookout just after the pass.   Alex waited a few minutes before zipping up her jacket and beginning her way back down to the car with the chilly air blowing against her. 

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Back at the car, both she and Dave were surprised not to see Trisha.  Since they did not have the keys to the car, and were now somewhat concerned, Dave called Luke and Sam at the house.  Sam drove down to the parking area, while Luke stayed at the house with Wes.  Alex would wait at the car, while Sam and Dave drove up towards the pass to see if Trisha had somehow gotten into a bind.  Only a few minutes later,  Alex saw Trisha riding her bike into the lot, with the car not far behind.   Turns out Trisha’s bike computer was not properly calibrated, and she was unable to tell how far she had gone, totally missed the sign for Juniper Pass, and had continued down to Echo Lake…. and down the road a bit farther.  Realizing something wasn’t right, she turned around and made her way back, waited at the Mount Evan’s Visitor’s center, thinking that it was the turn around point, and was surprised Alex had not yet shown up. 

Glad that everyone was back, and with no major problems, we made our way back to the house where we would relax for the evening.   Mike would be coming over later that evening for dinner, so we cooked up a large variety of roasted vegetables.  Mike showed up with ingredients in hand to make what turned out to be a delicious salad with homemade avocado dressing.

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The following day was scheduled to be a rest day, and with rain in the forecast, we decided to do an easy 5-mile hike at Elk Meadow Park.  Soon after beginning our hike, we ran into, Angie from the bike shop, who had adjusted Trisha’s bike and assured her that she shouldn’t be to tough on herself about biking… seeing that Wes was not even a year old!  After chatting for a bit we continued along the trail.  As we hiked, Dave was dwelling on the fact that there was a trail that would take them up the the top of Bergen Peak, and we weren’t planning on doing it.  At the last trail junction, Dave brought this up, and Alex and Sam both said they would go along to the summit. 

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For Alex, Dave and Sam, their 5-mile hike turned into an 11-mile hike.   They were happy they made the choice to go to the top, and take in the views.   They made the entire way back to the car, stopping for Alex to take pictures of flowers, without getting rained on!  That was a win!

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Starving, as usual, they stopped at Dandelions Cafe for lunch.  They sat on the patio, thoroughly enjoying the margarita pizza they all shared, and the sandwich and salad that Alex and Dave also split.  It was a delicious meal with great service, definitely a place they would recommend!  With their hunger subsided, they ran some errands before heading back to the house.

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The remainder of the evening was spent relaxing and watching Harry Potter.  To be honest, most of us relaxed… Sam was too anxious about Kevin flying in that night to settle completely.  At one point Dave made a comment about an internet server crashing, and Sam yelled at him for joking about Kevin’s plane crashing.  Later that evening, Sam headed to Denver to pick up Kevin, while the rest of the group prepared biking gear for the morning’s ride of Vail Pass before they headed to bed.

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