Just got home from another day at the claim. About 4 hours of hiking with just a few breaks for drink, pics, and tick flickin’ Hauled a 4-foot 4×4 claim post to corner #3. I’d brought the other claim markers up last fall, but didn’t get around to this one till now. It’s the claim post that’s the farthest up the mountain from the parking area. About a half mile hike, then another half mile up a mountainside as steep as the Manitou incline, except no staircase. The wood post weighs about 25 lbs and it really slowed me down. Steep ascent, thin air, heavy/awkward load. Took about 2 hours to get from the truck to corner 3 on the claim.
Had to stop and check my socks every couple minutes because the ticks were out in force today. Pulled 7 of these creepy things off my socks over the course of the day’s hike!
Tucked my pants into my socks to keep the ticks out. It also helped to spot them. These guys moved pretty quick so I had to check often.
First snake I’ve seen on the hike to the claim. Don’t think he was poisonous but I gave him some space anyway. He was about 3′ long, warming up in the sun.
Steepest part of the hike up to corner 3 of the claim.
And here’s Corner 3 with the claim post nestled beside the rock cairn I’d made back in August of last year.
No topaz today either, so I get excited when I see any piece of rock with some interesting mineralization.
This was only my 2nd hike up to corner 3 since I had the claim. This time I noticed that the back side of Pikes Peak is visible from up here.
I pass this balanced rock every time I hike up there. The ancient people used to worship this rock for it’s ability to blur images from perfectly functional auto-focus digital cameras.
Lots of hiking today. Looked for smoky quartz and topaz but didn’t find anything…
Hiked up higher than the claim boundary, just to look around.
Found this layer of “pegmatite” in a boulder.
Here’s a close up of the pegmatite layer. Little quartz crystals inside there.
Not finding any crystals can lead to selfies. That’s a claim marker next to me.
Saw these quarter-sized plants.
Here’s what the claim looked like the day before (Saturday). Intermittent snow kept blowing through so I just took a few pictures.
Third or fourth trip up to the mining claim this year. Didn’t do any digging. Mainly just went up to get into the mountains for some fresh air and a hike. Retrieved a trail cam and took a few pictures.
Trailcam picked up a few images of this prospector passing through. All he was carrying was a pry bar and a grocery bag with a bottle of Aquafina. He’s looking down at a creek.
Start of the 1/2 mile hike to the claim which is about as far as that mountain peak you see there.
Lots of Pasque flowers beginning to bloom.
Image from the claim.
More prospectors passing in front of the trailcam.
Friday: Had the day off so I drove to Skagway Reservoir. A customer from work had suggested it to me earlier in the week “if ya want to catch some trout.” Skagway Reservoir is near Cripple Creek about an hour and a half from town. I guess it gets busy in the summer but it wasn’t busy on a Friday in April. Got there around 2PM. Tried Powerbait and got no bites so I switched to a spinner. Landed two (planted) Rainbows about 12-14″ and had lots of strikes close to shore. Most of the action took place between 430 and 6.
View of the Sawatch Mountain Range just outside of Cripple Creek.
Tried to take a pic of this thing from the side but the wind kept blowing it’s back towards the camera, so: Rainbow- Top View
Saturday I left town not knowing exactly where I was going, then decided to try driving to the Cache Creek public gold panning area about 2 1/2 hours west near Leadville. The panning area is usually gated till early June, but I figured I could at least grab a couple buckets of material to pan at home. Then I figured I’d try fishing Twin Lakes Reservoir because it’s just a mile from Cache Creek.
Highway 24 about 2 hours west of town.
Gate to Cache Creek gold panning area was locked, but I hiked a few yards down the road and fetched 8 gallons of material (dirt/gravel) from a dry creek bed. Another windy Spring day in the high country. Took the material back to the house and was surprised to find a little color.
Left Cache Creek and took a dirt road North towards Twin Lakes Reservoir about a mile or two away. Spotted this herd of antelope.
Twin Lakes Reservoir near Leadville.
Got to Twin Lakes Reservoir around 1PM and the wind was a’whippin. All I had with me was a thin sweatshirt and dangit with that wind I got cold even though it was 50 degrees out. So after a half hour I drove 30 minutes to Leadville and bought a fake-fleece lined hoodie from a hardware store. I wore the hoodie to the checkout counter and after paying, I shuddered and said to the cashier “Brrr…that’s better.” She replied “But this is the warmest it’s BEEN!” ( Leadville’s over 9000 feet elevation). Returned to the reservoir, threw a spinner for 2 hours and caught nothing. Started the 3 hour drive back to town at about 6 o’clock.
Heading east toward Colorado Springs across the high plateau called “South Park”
First time trying “11 Mile Reservoir.” About an hour and a half from town. Windy day. Just a handful of people fishing from shore and no one was catching anything but I tried it anyway.
Tried Powerbait and spinners. Caught zip.
This Mountain Bluebird hunkered down beside the truck to get out of the wind.
Deer on the move.
Cattle country. This fella was scratchin’ on a boulder.
Took the scenic route home.