A short distance down the road from Dunton Hot Springs is the Kilpacker Trailhead, the start of a 7.1 mile out and back lightly trafficked trail featuring breathtaking views of Mount Wilson and the El Diente peak.
Accompanied by our canine guide, Aster, we headed out in search of some spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains.
Dressed appropriately for the occasion, of course.
Not only is bright orange regularly in the running for Pantone color of the year, but also necessary when you head into the wilderness during hunting season. As we possess the natural gracefulness of a doe and buck, precautions had to be taken.
Up the hill and into the land where the trees have eyes,
Traveling along an animal highway…the first humans to lay down our footprints since the most recent snowfall.
Finding hints along the way,
And slowly moving closer to our final destination.
Very carefully walking across the balance beam of a tree trunk that separated our feet from the chilly waters beneath.
And finally working our way into the wide open meadows, all with the assistance of our wonderful guide Karl (check him out at San Juan Outdoor Adventures).
Stopping for a snack and photo op (note Aster’s perfectly dramatic pose),
And inching ever closer to the peak’s base.
Having achieved our goal, we headed back the way we came, catching Mount Wilson and El Diente from the other direction.
Leaving behind only our names…the rest of the trail remaining as untouched as possible.
We headed home (we can dream!), to warm our bones with some cocoa and rest our weary legs in the hot springs.
Before cozying up in front of the fire for one last sleep,
Filled only with the sweetest of dreams.