Walden . Colorado
As mentioned below it was a long week at my desk looking staring through the filthy smeared glass at the sweatshop floor. In between processing our mountains of paperwork my coworker printed some maps and Google Earth photos from one of his favorite campsites. So on Saturday myself and friends rented a truck and headed up to northern Colorado for a night of camping.
We rented this big Ford extended cab truck. Normally I bike around the city and drive a mid size Saturn as to maintain a practical liberal environmental footprint, but this truck was sweet. Bigger than most cars inside, enough room for our gear in the back, six cup holders, huge mirrors – it was a nice way to cruise around the mountains and valleys. Plus our campsite was down a series of county dirt roads, so it was actually necessary as some were quite muddy.
We headed north on 25 and stopped at the Waffle House in Longmont for breakfast. Nas had never been to a Waffle House, and he was quite impressed, (or frightened,) at the efficiency in which orders are shouted back, eggs are tossed and splattered around, and coffee was filled. A full Waffle House on a Saturday morning is a bit like being backstage before a big musical: a cavalcade of many events and everyone contributing to the final presentation. Which in my case was chicken fried steak and three more cups of coffee. And one to go.
Below: Cameron Pass Lake on highway 14. Dirt roads near Walden.
We hit up the grocery store in Fort Collins my standard camp fare: brats, hotdogs, Sunchips, baked beans, and smores. Caleb had the brilliant idea of packing our cooler with dry ice in addition to the regular ice. This kept the bottom half of the cooler extremely cold, colder than Jupiter I believe, and keeps the ice from melting and turning your cooler into a big box of slush by the end of the day.
We headed west on highway 14 out of Fort Collins and LaPorte, and up through Cameron Pass where we stopped at the Summit for a small walk and swim. Well only Caleb swam. Down the pass and through a brief rainstorm we arrived at the small town of Walden. Walden is the main city in Jackson County, Colorado. Bordering southern Wyoming Jackson County has more in common with Wyoming than the Colorado mountains: wide open plains, fields and farmlands with mountains surrounding the valleys.
I had a few maps printed out with various landmarks on each one. Thanks to the nice lady at Tom’s Liquors she clarified our directions and ensured we were headed in the right direction.
Below: Small lake our campsite overlooked.
Flat Lake, our destination, was already occupied by a few campers, so we continued down some muddy dirt roads, took one turn off, and found this place at the end of our second dirt road where nobody was around for miles. After setting up campsite and gathering some kindling we took a small hike. We didn’t get far since Nas noticed that there were wild strawberries and blueberries growing on the ground! We all had the same idea at once. Our Skyy Vodka would now be “strawberry infused vodka”! We had smores, hot dogs, beer, beer, more smores, and after a few hours of “infusing” we strained our vodka through the coffee press and tasted our handiwork. Perfect drinks, and perfect night.
The next morning we made some toast, pop-tarts, and coffee over the fire, then cleaned up and did our dishes in the lake. We went swimming again and headed back into Walden and had lunch at the Antlers Inn Restaurant. You can’t miss it – Main Street is only five blocks long.