We reached Goblin Valley about 5:30 p.m.; The campgrounds were full which meant we saved $16 and camped just outside by the petroglyphs. Unfortunately these petroglyphs are getting graffitied over by idiots and it looked as though someone had taken souvenir pieces, some @$$%^ used another for target practice. We did get a chance to walk around the goblins, I had never been there before so it was quite interesting. Not really what I expected, the pictures actually make this place look better. I would not suggest going here. You’ve seen one desert formation you have seen them all. A wise man named Edward Abbey once had something similar to say about the desert; there is nothing to see, so stay out!, it’s a desert! There is no water and hardly any shade. We were very fortunate to be there on a full moon. We climbed a plateau and could see all the way to Colorado that was pretty amazing.
Day two would bring us to Dotesto, Colorado. We took a drive out to the Flat Top Wilderness. We pulled into a camp spot and were rudely greeted by a herd of elk just outside our desired location. I personally am more scared of elk than bears. It’s not too often you come across bears. I’ve have only seen one in all my travels. I have had a herd of elk trample through my camp at 3 in the morning snorting, grunting and banging there antlers in to branches. This is a very scary way to get up in morning. Especially when you know there antlers are just inches from your hammock and I was smart enough to place my cocoon at the perfect height for them. It snowed bright and early in the morning which motivated us to get to Leadville. We stopped at the Eagle Diner in Eagle County for coffee and omelets; I suggest eating there if you’re ever in town.
We reached Leadville and headed straight for Turquoise Lake. We were eager to float the canoe that we had dragged across the desert. It was a little shocking to find the lake frozen over. For the most part the snow has melted below 11,000 feet, but there is still plenty on top of those 14er’s. It’s a good thing we brought snow shoes. The perfect camp was spotted on the opposite side of the lake but the road was still covered in snow. With great disappointment in our hearts we found a campsite below the lake. We hung our hammocks and set up the kitchen. Than the croquet tournament began. There is nothing quite like playing croquet in a national forest. The smell of fresh pine in the air and the loud smack of the ball echoing through the thin mountain air, perfect!
Classes start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. I have learned more than I ever thought I would care to know about fly fishing and I’ve only been here 4 days, five weeks to go. I wish my family was here to experience the beauty of Colorado with me. Hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to go enjoy some of it myself. I think my only free day will be Sunday; I have a medic class all day Saturday. Hopefully with a day off I’ll have the energy to bag a 14er.