Day 4: Luck

55 miles
$23/night: Pawnee Campground (Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forrest)

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity

Another very early start (is this really only day 4?) to attempt the impossible: Pawnee Campground near Ward, CO. When I got off the main commuter route, it was a quiet (and cold!) drive up the mountain on Coal Creek Canyon Road.

After consulting brother Tim, I decided to start at the far point (Pawnee). If I was turned away, I had a few other options: Kelly Dahl and Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Both equally unlikely to get in without a reservation. All were around 10,000ft elevation, so would stay relatively cool, compared to Denver.

I got to the gate at Pawnee, and asked about sites. *sigh* I was told it was highly unlikely. Highly.

“Can I go in and try”

“I guess” shaking their head, wearily. It’s a busy time of year, and they look tired of cheerful hopeful people like me.

After speaking to a camp host and finding nothing on the right fork of sites, I tried the left. And success. There was one remaining. $23/day? Yes, please. Let’s start with two nights.

Luck? Meet preparation and opportunity.

Preparation and opportunity? Meet luck.

It was still early when I set up. My site was a within walking distance, on a paved trail, to Brainard Lake.

When I do put the kayak in, I’ll avoid this end of the lake.

But I had bigger plans for today: Left Hand Reservoir looked like something I should try.

It’s just 1.25 miles off the main road. The map makes it look like an easy paved road with a parking lot at the end.

It’s not. And the road just opened a few days ago.

The Touareg was up to the rock-crawling task (after I took off the hitch and emptied it of most other heavy items).

The reward.

It’s time to christen the kayak on this summer’s trip.

Here, in action.

The reservoir was very full. So full, I could see fire rings through the clear waters for what would be shore campsites in a drier time.

I’m down in Nederland, with the nearest cell signal (10 miles from the campground?) writing this post. Gonna look for a market for some eggs ‘n things and head back to paradise.

(Please pardon any errors, I typed this whole thing on my iPhone in a gas station parking lot)

If I don’t “come off the mountain” tomorrow for a 5th-day blog post, don’t worry. I’m just doin’ stuff.

4 thoughts on “Day 4: Luck

  1. Awesome scenery, as always. You’re lucky in many ways – great campsite, beautiful reservoir for kayaking, and such tranquility surrounding you. I’m jealous.

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