We woke up, packed and headed back into Rocky Mountain National Park to hike up Mt. Ida – one of the mountains Janet had hiked on her last visit to the area. We started up the mountain around 9:30 – 10:00 which was a bit later than expected, but it also wasn’t that extreme of a mountain. The most vertical portion was switchbacks below the tree line. This went alright. The difficulty came when we left the tree line and discovered the wind. It was a very windy day and soon we were both completely hooded leaving only our faces uncovered. We hiked for a while along the south side of a ridge on a sort of traverse to the top. The trail was pretty easy going as can be seen in some of the pictures. We never did find out just how long the trail was – after maybe an hour hiking we decided it was too windy and cold (especially on the fingers as neither of us had brought good warm gloves) to continue. We stopped for a bit to rest and have a snack and then headed back down.
The second adventure of the day was going to be a hike to Cascade Falls. This was to be a much more relaxed hike, and being completely below the tree line was also much less windy and warmer. We hiked for about an hour and then discovered the other ranger station where, as it turned out, we should have started our hike, but by that time it was getting too late to continue walking into the woods knowing that it would be dark before we got back. In our defense here, the map was somewhat unclear on the distance between trailheads and I thought that our total hike was going to be about as long as the first portion.
So, basically, we failed to accomplish either of our goals in Rocky Mountain National Park.
We hopped back in the Frog and drove to Leadville that night – which seemed to be a good town to use as a base for our next hike. It took us a bit to find the hotel, as the town of Leadville is mostly beyond the ‘main street’ that we drove in on when arriving from the Rocky Mountain National Park direction. We stayed at a rather generic Super 8, which, I would say was sufficient at best. There didn’t seem to be a lot of options though.