Copper to Tennessee Pass

August 17, 2015
Holli and I had planned to take a day off in Breckenridge but ended up taking two days off.  I spent most of Saturday laying in bed with a fever and the chills.  I was better by Saturday night but took Sunday off as I was still feeling a little weak.  Holli occupied her time with eating and shopping on both days.
We also had a surprise visit from Holli’s brother, sister-in-law, and nephew on Saturday night.  They came up from Denver to escape the heat.
We left Breckenridge on Monday morning via the Summit Stage bus and arrived at Copper Mountain around 10 am, a bit later than ideal.
The trail took us past the ski lifts at Copper and soon we were headed south and west into the mountains.  Storms threatened as we neared tree line so we opted to camp with only eight miles behind us.
Thunder and light rain helped to confirm our decision to stop early.  I read a few chapters out of my book while Holli napped and explored camp between rain showers.

 

Copper Mountain


August 18, 2015
Leadville was our next town stop so I enticed Holli with real food so we could get up early and knock out 17.5 miles by early afternoon.
The morning was cold but the sky was a beautiful blue.  There was frost on the small tundra plants as the trail escaped tree line and meandered toward Searle Pass.
Once over the pass we enjoyed five miles of alpine scenery.  Marmots and picas squeaked and chirped as we rounded each turn.  A flock of sheep was the last interesting feature we experienced as the trail dropped back into the forest.

 

 
The rest of the hike took us past the ruins of Camp Hale where the 10th Mountain Division trained during World War II.

 

bunkers at Camp Hale


Finally, we arrived at the Tennessee Pass trail head on Hwy. 24 but we needed to get into Leadville 9 miles away.  We have been courteous to mountain bikers for the entirety of our hike and possibly the good karma has paid off.  Two bikers hollered at us from across the parking lot and offered us a ride to Leadville.  They had their bikes loaded with just enough room left for our packs.

We are staying at the Leadville Hostel for a short night and we will be moving on to Twin Lakes.


  

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