Camping on Labor Day is becoming a tradition, if doing something two years in a row makes that thing a tradition. And it totally does.
Last year was camping in Leadville. This year was camping in Salida.
It was a last minute trip, of sorts, and almost didn’t happen, and then I wouldn’t have this tradition, and then this post wouldn’t exist, and then where would we be?
We would be without this post, I can tell you that much.
The photos from this trip may be some of my absolute favorite so far. The leaves were just turning gold, the air was still warm (perhaps a bit too warm?), coyotes were howling all over and I slept in a tent that belonged to my parents from the 1970s. The roof sagged and it smelled like cheese and it had almost no ventilation and my dog hated it, but I managed to get it to stay up so I was pretty pumped.
My roommate and I hiked on the first day, up to Kroenke Lake in Buena Vista. We thought about stopping for tourist pictures with the inmates at the prison in Buena Vista, but decided that was too corny so we passed it up. The second day we stopped by St. Elmo, a ghost town at the base of Mt. Princeton, and it is way overly touristy, but there are some cooler old buildings, so it was worth a stop. The general store sold racist valentines (called “nostalgic” by the advertising card) and original newspapers from the Civil War for $1, and if I taught about the Civil War I would have bought them all up. St. Elmo is also home to the World’s Largest Population of Fat Chipmunks, and you can look that up. It’s true.
Also, I successfully made fire, by myself. So BOOM, take that, moderately warm temperatures that did not require a fire to stay warm.