On Friday July 15th Aimee, I and the pups set off for a little weekend getaway to The Flat Tops Wilderness Area – the 2nd largest wilderness area in Colorado. It’s a large area who‚Äôs center is located above Glenwood Springs. It was about a four hour drive or so and the final 17 miles were a rutted dirt road with particularly sharp and nasty loose stones covering it. It was one of these stones I theorized that broke a piece off my plastic gas tank protector under the car and also loosened or split a little gas tank breather hose around the same area.
I realized something was amiss when we stopped to look at a roadside map and heard a strange goose like noise coming from the gas tank. Upon closer inspection I smelt gasoline and noticed a leaking gas breather hose near the fuel pump. Anyway, seeing as this is a friggin trip report and not an Audi related item I will just say that we stopped some time later and decided that there was not much we could and to avert the imminent fiery inferno Aimee was assigned to man the mini fire extinguisher and when the flames appeared she was instructed to toss it to me and then to evacuate the pups from the back seat while I would attempt to tame the fire! Needless to say we eventually forgot about the impending danger and nothing ended up happening – thank Allah – but it did add a little excitement to the final part of the ride to the trail head.
Now on to the rest of the trip ‚Äì got to the trail head at 6pm I seem to remember and made our way up towards the Devils Causeway ‚Äì lots of bugs, this was unfortunately going to be the theme of the trip, mosquitoes and those nasty black flies that, to add insult to injury, sting you as well as suck your blood ‚Äì bastards! We set up camp on a relatively flat clearing just below the final steep switch back up to the causeway The files, sensing we were the only fresh blood for miles had now launched a full scale attack and we both wished to be anywhere but here. The Pups also were getting the shite bitten out of them ‚Äì poor babies cos their fur is pretty thick so the mozzies go for weak spot, the snout, and tis was a pitiful site to see Gaia lying stretched out look looking up at you all forlorn with a ton of bugs on there little nose.
In the morning we made a hasty clamber up to the Devils Causeway, a narrow piece of mountain that ran east west from out campsite. At one point it‚Äôs so narrow you can see the 500 ft drop on both sides. The pups had great fun chasing little critters and would run right up the the drop giving us a both near cardiac arrests a few times. The view from the tops was magnificent but we were in poor spirits due to the bugs so on return to camp we decided to ‚Äúblow the joint‚Äù and head for greener pastures. While we were evacuating the campsite a Ranger came by and upon inquiry about the bugs he commented that he hadn‚Äôt seen it this bad in years!
We took a little dip in the reservoir and decided we‚Äôd head for Steamboat and camp on the top of the Rabbit Ears pass in a Forest Service campground. On arrival we found a nice spot and I‚Äôm happy to say it was relatively bug free. The next morning we packed up camp and made our way down the other side of the pass and drove down a side road, parked and continues to hike down the dirt road ‚Äì no cars, no bugs and no rednecks/hunters nice …. dogs off leash and cool. We parked in a great future camping spot with lovely views of rolling hills so I made a mental note to go back sometime in the future to camp. We then headed back towards I70 and stopped in Frisco for some lunch. We hit the highway at peak rush hours it seemed and we sat in bumper to bumper to traffic ‚Äì arggg! At least an extra hour and a half of driving ‚Äì note to self ‚Äúavoid I70 at all cost on Sunday afternoon and early evening!!‚Äù
Summary: Not the best trip ever and perhaps staying at home would have been better idea 🙂 but it was nice to be outside with the pups in nature. Note to self ‚ÄúBugs and heat suck in July ‚Äì unless you‚Äôre up really really high forget it I say. Perhaps I should of used DEET as the stupid citronella bug spray did jack shite, the bugs seem to like it but then there‚Äôs the added nicety of DEET being a pesticide and it getting on my skin, clothes and on the dogs too.
Gear Comments: Would be nice to have an extra day pack to take with.