Chalk it up to better late than never but I’m finally finding a few minutes to pay props to everything that doesn’t involve a bike in Leadville. One evening we attended Escanaba in da Moonlight presented by The Mining Museum Players of Leadville, I’m still chuckling at this over the top take on life at a deer hunting camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. “Mychevytookashit,” is the line delivered a good twenty times or so by the Jimmer, a character who hasn’t quiet recovered from an alien abduction and is frustrated with the behavior of his Chevy on this night filled with paranormal mysteries. This comedy took on hysterical dimensions thanks to two of the woodsy, male characters being played by women. Such is life in Leadville community theater. We found out about this little production from one of the actors while having coffee in town, and were quickly told it is BYOB but dessert will be served at intermission. Really? What more could you want.
In coming to Leadville for the race we were also returning to cash in our spring rain check issued back in May by Mother Nature. We were in Leadville then and like everywhere we went in the spring there was unseasonable wet, stormy, cold weather. In May we hoped for a clear day to attempt Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado. It never came, our patience ran out and off we went to be rained out of places for another month. Coming back in the height of summer all we had to worry about were the usual afternoon thunderstorms. With a surprisingly clear forecast we headed off up Elbert’s trail at a little past 6:00 am. That trail is steep with a vertical gain of 4,400 feet in 3.8 miles taking you to a summit at 14,433 feet. With a mule train mind set we powered down and plodded on finding ourselves at the summit in a respectable 3 hours 40 minutes. I’m thrilled to report no altitude sickness for either of us. The last time I ventured above 14,000 feet, on Mt Bierstadt back in 2006, it was hike a few steps, throw up, hike a few steps, throw up, for probably a half hour. Now though after spending much of the summer at elevation this was well within our abilities. Another huge plus for this mountain is the superb quality of the trail. No scree. No talus. No boulder fields to navigate. That wide, dirt path was beautiful as I anticipated much worse. Our roundtrip time was about six and a half hours all with a sunny, storm-free sky. Many thanks to Mother Nature for fair dealings.
Jill ponders the steepness on the decent from Colorado’s Big E.
Altitude makes people do some silly things.
While the mountain bike race was surreal, wacky community theater and Mt. Elbert also make the highlight reel and firmly launch Pbville toward the top of the “could live here” list. Sadly we said bye to the big mountains as it was back to the front range for us and another chance to visit with friends before we start the slow roll east.
PS. For those news hounds out there we missed the helicopter from Ft. Campbell crashing on nearby Mt. Massive by a couple days.