The woodstove fire was stoked at night, but simply ashes come morning.
When your cup of coffee steams profusely, you know it's cold inside.
Our breakfast song also steamed the air in front of our singing mouths! "For ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing..."
We started our big last day rolling over Tomichi Pass again. The winding trail took us through many puddles and streams, next to waterfalls and lush forest undergrowth. Here we are on top of the world...
No stopping for snowball fights or licks this time. Cora even forgot to look down at the Jeep remains she was so worried and chattering about on that scary part of the trail. She did notice the chipmunks and marmots scampering in front and beside us and the deer in the valley below.
Hancock Pass wasn't nearly as awful as I remembered. We did get off the Ranger once on a super sharp switchback, but the 4-wheeler kept on a truckin'. We met a nice family at the top who we took a picture of and they in turn did of us.
Destination St. Elmo! We brought along salted sunflower seeds that the little chipmunks would not touch. (So we humans enjoyed them on the trip home.) Once purchasing a baggie of the black birdseed kind from the touristy general store, the girls had no problem getting critters to perch near or even on their hands.
We picnicked on the steps of the historic Post Office before heading over Tin Cup Pass. We enjoyed the scenic ride up, near a rushing stream with numerous pristine camping opportunities. I'm not sure I'd want to haul everything in there, but the sights are fabulous!
Near the top of the pass we got into more snow.
The ride down was hobbledy hoy, hobbledy ho over numerous rocks, but at the bottom Mirror Lake is a beautiful sight and even fun to drive through if you have to.
We stopped for a snack and chat, but no fishing as we pressed on to get back to the cabin before too late. Over Cumberland Pass to Pitkin and back through Wanita and Black Sage.
Eight or nine hours since we'd set out found us cooking stir fry over the fire, fishing in the creek, and relaxing in the Pines.
The next morning we tidied up our temporary Colorado home, before venturing back out on the highway.
Down the mountain, alongside the Arkansas River, stopping quickly at Royal Gorge. The mountain goats (or sheep) met us in the parking lot! We peered through the fence steeply at the tiny river and train tracks far below winding their way along the canyon bottom.
Finally back in Kansas flatland, witnessing another of God's beautiful sunsets in the vast sky as we travel along on the old Santa Fe Trail.