This trip report will be broken in to a few parts: The Alpine Loop (original trip plan) then Canyon of the Ancients, and as the shutdown continued, Lockheart Basin/Moab.
The first part of this trip had been in the making for most of the summer, as soon as fire season was over we'd load op the dog and the Cruiser and try to get in some good quality exploring in the western mountains of Colorado. The goal was to pick up were we left off last year and at least get in the Alpine Loop and some side exploring, all before the snow came in and shut down the passes. This is a classic route that is not really technical or all that remote really, but it is full of amazing scenery in a very unique area. The plan was to leave Silverton, check out Maggie Gulch and Animas Fork, then go East over Cinnamon Pass and in to American Basin. Then hit some pavement to Lake City and turn back to the West to climb Engineer Pass, then take Marble Creek to the North in to Oury. We had planned to do this over three days to allow a slow pace and to see every thing on our list and hopefully new places not on our list.
As fate would have it we had to post pone the trip by a couple of weeks to the first week of October. We knew we would be cutting it close with the weather but we figured we'd just go for it. So as news of the possible government shutdown loomed we packed the truck and hit the road for Colorado. They key to the rest of the trip would be that my girlfriend and I are both employed by different government agencies and neither of us would be able to return to work for weeks instead of just the week we planed. I'll let the pictures tell the first part of our trip:
The Alpine Loop
The Alpine loop is a fantastic drive. As it turned out we had to cut our nights out on the trail, by one due to a snow storm that came in. So we ran south to Durango to escape some weather and to hear news that we may have more time off then we had planned for, time to hit the maps and come up with the next part of our adventure...:sombrero: