Legs fully stretched, it was time to sit down in the hammocks and get breakfast ready. While we cooked our dinner in the campfire, for breakfast, we used the Trangia alcohol burner with a Clikstand and titanium pot to boil up some water. We usually hang our Blackbirds with the openings facing toward each other, so we can sit in them and face the middle, for cooking and talking. It's pretty much the best way to relax in the woods.
Around 800 mL of water was enough for some eggs and potatoes - breakfast of champions! We also heated up a bit more water for some hot chocolate.
Still not ready to leave this picture-perfect setting, we lounged around camp for a while, looking at the flowers and the birds
Eventually, we broke camp and started walking out through more fantastic meadows.
Beyond the birds, we didn't see much wildlife, but we saw plenty of signs of them, including lots of deer droppings, and plenty of damaged trees. I'm not sure if this one was a bear, deer, or elk, but there were a lot of trees with this kind of damage around the trails.
After some steep downhill hiking along Rough and Tumbling Creek (it earns its name!), we reached another area of meadows and beaver dams.
In this area, we reached a low of around 9500 feet - the trees and flowers seemed to appreciate the extra oxygen, and there was life everywhere.
Soon it was time to start climbing again, up to around 10300 feet, where the views were excellent, but it was obvious we were getting closer to civilization. We even got some views of fields full of cows, although they are tough to see in the pictures.
Finally, we descended one more time, as we hiked through some really nice stands of well established aspen. These trees were thriving, and made a perfect environment for the last mile or two of hiking before the trailhead.
Not long after that, we returned to the trailhead. Over the course of two days, we climbed from 10,000 feet to within a hundred feet of treeline, narrowly missed a thunderstorm, explored some beautiful meadows, and watched the temperature swing from 85 degrees during the day on Saturday to 35 overnight, and a gorgeous 65 degree day on Sunday. It's hard to imagine a more perfect weekend.
I hope you enjoyed the report as much as we enjoyed the trip - I usually don't go into this much detail on a trip report, but this was a fantastic location. If you're looking for something different in a hike in Colorado, you'd be hard pressed to top this loop in the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness. Highly recommended.