Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22559 – 872
Here’s the haps:
We dropped the intrepid explorers off at the park at the bottom and saw them off. Their backpacks were packed in the most efficient manner possible for a 3-day trek into the wilds. About the only “frivolous” items were the 2 plastic glasses (I know that’s an oxymoron but that’s what I call them anyway) hanging from the back for when they were going to imbibe a non-alcoholic beverage, an orange electrolyte drink made from powder and filtered stream water. It’s vital to your life to have a good filtering system because of several reasons, one being a nasty, nasty parasite called Giardia. When we first moved to Colorado I heard about it from some Boy Scout leader training. I also knew a guy who, when he first got here, went up into the mountains and saw one of the beautiful, pristine-looking mountain streams and took a long drink. What happened to him when he developed Giardiasis was not pretty and he wound up in the hospital. This post isn’t about that but the Mayo Clinic has an article here that describes it. My point being that if you are going in the mountains take a good filtering system. Another, possibly easier method is to boil the water at a full rolling boil for 3 – 5 minutes then allow it to cool.
The rule when camping in an area like this, well, not just like this but camping anywhere it’s not developed, e.g., no trashcans, “Pack it in, pack it out.” There should be no sign that anyone was ever in that spot. The trail they intended to take took them too far into ice and snow to be safe with only the equipment they had so they stopped and turned back which was the reasonable and intelligent thing to do. This may sound strange for the middle of summer but at that altitude and in that rough terrain it makes sense.
After they were gone we took some pictures of Maroon Lake and the surrounding park area. There was evidence of beaver activity both past and present but we didn’t see any. I expect that when the area is closed to the public from late fall to late spring and there aren’t as many people around is when they come around an area like this.
The park and lake were beautiful. here’s some of the scenery we enjoyed (clicking on a picture should make it larger).
Of course, this park had toilets but I just can’t help but worry about civilization as a whole when you need an instruction sign:
A couple of days later it was time to drive back up again and take the explorers home. I wanted to stop and look at something on the way back which I had seen on the way down the first time. We all agreed it sounded interesting and that is coming up in the next and final installment of the Maroon Bells Hike.