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James Peak Wilderness - Backpacking

We decided to take a little overnight jaunt up to Heart Lake which is situated about 800ft below the continental divide in the James Peak Wilderness Area. We started at the east side of the Moffet Tunnel which is located about 4 mile west of the town of Rollinsville which is just off the Peak to Peak Highway. The South Boulder Creek Trail follows the South Boulder Creek all the way up to Heart lake so it was a relatively easy 4 mile climb in nice cloudy 70F weather. The pups had fun and managed to find some nice mud holes. We had a good laugh at them as they emerged from the mud with their newly acquired black mud booties -very sexy! There were quite a few people on the trail but most were heading for the closer Crater Lake. We made it to Heart lake in about 3 hours and proceeded to scout out the area for a secluded camp site.

Thabo had gone missing some 10 minutes before this and I just assumed he was digging or chasing something and that he knew where we were. Well it turned out that he didnt know we were at the lake (because of the loud noise of the river he probably didnt hear our calls) and made a b-line back to the car! I realize this when asking some hikers who were behind us on the tail if they had seen a little red wolf dog. So off I ran at high speed down the 2000 odd feet of elevation back to the car and it seems that everyone on the trail had seen him come whizzing past them, sans owner and wondered where the hell he was going!

I found him in the crowded parking lot looking a little lost. He was happy to see me I suppose and was probably wondering where the hell we were! So off we went jogging back up the friggin trail. The folks who were down hiking were quite amused to see us heading back up! First dog, then some time later, owner tearing down the trail, now dog with owner jogging back up the trail - what in gods name ! It also started to rain but I told myself it was nice to be out in the woods with my boy and I that there was food and water at camp, something that, in my rush to find Thabo, I had failed to bring with me.

I managed to make it back to camp by 3pm and collapsed into my sleeping bag in the tent that Aimee had pitched in my absence. She was glad to see us as I hadnt told her that I was heading to the car to get hound. I had a mega nap till about 8pm then we ate and I hung the bear bag and read my book till about 11pm. Thabo wanted to sleep in the tent with daddy and as usual he pushed me to one side of my therma rest so it wasnt the most comfortable of nights sleep.

In the morning we hiked up to the top of the divide Mr. GPS told me it was 11900ft so we had nice views from the top but gray skies to the west of us shorted the divide excursion. The dogs also found two nice snow banks to roll around on. We broke camp at around 1130am and made it back to the car at 130pm.

Summary: Nice hike and its a pretty easy jaunt to the divide from the Moffat Tunnel. Would be nice to of stayed out longer and done a loop up onto the divide then down the Forest Lakes Trail. Plenty of spots to camp a few miles some easy week day camping perhaps?

Gear Report: I need a pillow inflatable one me thinks. New pack is nice but tent has to go on outside cos when i put it inside there was no room at the inn.