Gary (unclegar): The Apple-eating group leader and 14er Finisher Extraordinaire
Barry (johnson): The Cerebral #2 in the group and the “Kip’s Grill” Fan Club President
Eben (ebnhils): Vegetarian and “Healthiest Guy on the Trail” Award Winner
Jodi (JLOHARA): The Dog Whisperer, Lone Female Delegate, and Fan of False Summits
Dan (dmccool): Guy who disrespects Rush and who Couldn’t Find the Trailhead in the Dark
Trailhead: West Willow Creek
San Luis Peak is one of the most underrated 14ers that I have been on thus far. I almost feel like I’m letting the cat out of the bag – like San Luis is some sort of “best kept secret”. Maybe it was the time of year. Maybe it was the fact that the joyous festivities of the Fall Gathering were just around the corner. Or perhaps it had something to do with the company I had that day. Either way, I felt like I needed to archive this trip…so here goes everything:
We got under way around 6:15am, heading up the obvious trail. After a short distance, you’ll come across a trail junction. Currently, there’s a large branch in the ground. Your choice is to either head to the left on a trail (wrong way) or bear to the right (correct way) and head up an old jeep road. This photo was taken later in the day.
Jodi and Gary showing the way
Since it was early in the morning, we of course took the wrong arm of the trail junction. There’s little consequence, however, because you can just head up the slope to the right of Point 12,540. We lost about 20 minutes.
If we would only have looked at Barry's map...
We made our way down into the drainage, following the scenic Colorado Trail.
Gary (a.k.a. "unklear") pondering life’s mysteries in a moment of solitude
Approaching the false summits
Eben going strong
Gary being chased by Ella (dog)
After a few false summits, the end goal was in sight.
Look how cerebral Barry looks in this photo. He operates his point-and-shoot like Today’s Tom Sawyer.
Brain-trust on summit
Jodi has this innate ability to communicate with Ella. Our furry friend wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with any of the guys all day. Here are the two ladies celebrating the summit.
Jodi and Ella showing their skills
Group summit shot (L-R: Gary, Barry, Jodi, Dan, Eben) Ella behind
Apparently the trek up to the summit wasn’t enough for Barry.
Barry performing a "one-handed inclined plank". Exit the Warrior...
The views from the summit are spectacular – especially this time of year. What a great weekend for the Fall Gathering (thanks again, Bill “wildlobo71”).
As we made our way back into the low drainage, the conversation began to turn – mostly for the worse. Little did I know that Barry is the band Rush’s #1 Fan. I think somewhere along the trail he also mentioned that C.C. Deville is one of his personal heroes. The details are a little foggy at this point, but you get the gist of it.
On the way out after a great day
Kip's Grill in Creede. I hear the #2 is good, eh Barry?
Thanks again to my partners on this awesome day in the San Juans!