WED JULY 26th:  

Winter Park/Fraser/Idaho Springs/Breckenridge/Wolcott – Then we hit a trail? (226 mi~8-9 hrs) (Dispersed Camping)

Today Julia (chassis) hit 150,000 miles! Not bad for a big girl on her 2nd engine and transmission! 

Today was supposed to be a rest day, but Doug found a wheel in Denver (a two hour plus round trip) and Karen really wanted to go to the Breckenridge Brewery (for the last year), so having been given the blessing to re-route us back up into the Flat Tops, that we had courted the first two nights (the northern potion of the trail is fairly basic), having seen videos of how pretty it was it wasn’t hard to get the okay to head back into those mountains.

So we started the morning late getting out of Winter Park around 11:00, Doug had already made it into Denver and we met him back in Black Hawk, where we found the only laundry mat & car wash in the county. After that we hi balled it on I-70 to Frisco and then Breckenridge, strait to the brewery.

To be honest, I was a little concerned, as we had hoped to be leaving Breckenridge by 4 and we arrived closer to 4:30. But the food and beers were delicious and all we had to do now was get to camp on Coffee Pot Road – 3 hrs west (but we didn’t know that yet).

I had chosen to jump back onto the Flat Tops trail a little higher than necessary, as Coffee Pot Road started near Dotsero, CO, but we jumped north at Wolcott and took Hwy 131 north before finding the trail, Milk Creek Rd that then took us down along the Colorado River for miles, eventually putting us near Dotsero and the beginning of Coffee Pot Road. 

We climbed up away from the Colorado River and found a camp that allowed us to see I-70 way down below, with a crazy view of Colorado’s best features – mountains & valleys. Camp was set up off the edge of the trail and things were getting back to normal. We had all decided that we’d cancel our Frisco hotel, and rough it from here on out, as we didn’t know how long traversing the lower and western parts of the trail might take. We’ll see how tomorrow goes…

Our Route: