Ellis Trail, Zirkel Mountains, CO July 3, 2009 - geoffw

Well, OK. Maybe I should go someplace else. I could take a hint. I took a look at a map I had with me. Hmmm. That road I was parked on looked like it went back a long ways. Hey, look, it goes to where it looks like you could cross into the Zirkel Wilderness. And, then..... Well, there were all sorts of possibilities. So, what the heck. I decided to hike up the road and "investigate" it for a future longer hike. At least it would be drier than tying to hike in the meadows.

So, headed back to the car and turned up the road to start to follow it. Whoops. Hold on just a second. What do I see coming up the road (sorry, no photos). Hey, it's someone walking along and leading a llama. Interesting. So, I wait till the man gets up to where I am and we jabber for a few minutes. Turns out he's an artist up doing some painting of the surrounding area. He's got a camp up in the West Fork meadows and is headed there with some more supplies. I ask him what it's like crossing the river (he will have to do that twice on the way to his camp). "Oh, it's a little high. But, I just hang on to the llama and it's pretty much ok." He's a little peeved at the weather as it's been socked in for many days. But, seems as if he's taking it in stride. He's got the trappings and mannerisms of someone that knows their way around the mountains. So, I wish him well and we head our separate ways.

I head up the road. It hasn't been traveled on much that I can tell. And, in fact, I end up seeing only 4 people (each on an ATV heading down the road in a group) the entire day on the road. Sure, it's kinda rainy. But, it is the 4th of July weekend. I bet that I would have seen a couple more people if I'd been in Estes Park : ) But, hey, looks nice and the sun is trying to poke it's way through the clouds.

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