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Colorado Trail -Segment 5

May 24/25, 2003

Segment 5- Longs Gulch Trailhead to Kenosha Pass

Distance: 14 miles

Elevation Gain: 1540 feet

View Log - Log of all contacts made

Terry and I hiked segment 5 along with Terry's good friend Gail as a onenight backpack.  We made the hike from east to west, starting at Kenosha pass.  This allowed us to get the biggest car setting chores out of the way on the first day and after completing the  hike at Longs Gulch on the 2nd day we could just drive out and pick up the 2nd car at Kenosha pass.   The trail from hiway 285 to the kenosha pass picnic ground is less then a half mile of following a well traveled dirt road.  From the picnic ground the trail does a gentle uphill climb for about 3 miles to an overlook with spectacular views of the south park area and the surrounding mountains.  There was a lot of long open trail hiking on this half of the segment and there was no water.  At about 5 1/2 miles we reached Johnson Gulch where there was a nice creek for the dog, Ellie Mae, to get a drink and some splashing done.  We also paused for lunch, partly to make sure Ellie had plenty of time to fill up with water.  We need not have worried about water because from this point on the hike is more densly forested and we ran into water every mile or so.   Between Johnson Gulch and our campsite at mile 8.9 we crossed Rock Creek, another unnamed year round creek and a couple seasonal streams.  The Rock Creek area would have made a great campsite but we were not ready to stop at that point.  After crossing the creek at mile 8.7 we hiked a short distance further and set up camp where we could easily return to the creek for water.  The evening was great.  We had a little sprinkle of rain early on and there was just enough lightening and thunder in the evening to be interesting but not threatening.  Shortly after we went to bed the rain let loose on us, the noise of the rain on the tents helping to put us to sleep.  We awoke in the morning to clear sky and mist rising from the ground as the sun evaporated last night's rain.  We were packed and on the trail by about 10:30AM.  As we crossed more streams we marveled at how 'trail sheik' our big, dumb lab/bloodhound mix dog looked in her new back pack and christened her 'Ellie Baur'.  The section from here to Longs Gulch may have been the most pleasant of the hike as we crossed some marshy areas and had more views of the mountains surrounding the south park area most of the way.

I took my 4 band Elecraft k1 on the hike along with a 33' dipole feed with a 28.5 foot length of 300 ohm tv ribbon.  I mounted the dipole on top of a 20' black widow fishing pole that doubles as a walking stick.  This antenna has a less the 2 to 1 swr across both the 20 meter and 15 meter bands without even using a tuner.  Using the k1 internal tuner I can also load it on 30 meters.  There was a contest that evening on 20 and 15 meters.  I spent just a little time in the contest and made 10 or 12 contacts including QSO's with South American and Carribean stations but I spent most of my time on 30 meters in a couple of short ragchews with stations in Minot, ND and OK City, OK.  All in all a great hike and we're eager to get back!

Terry and Gail in their typical position many yards in front of me!

Ellie splashing through  the creek at Johnson Gulch

Lunch at Johnson Gulch

Note the antenna in the center of our campsite

Early morning mist surrounding Terry and Gail

Ellie Baur

Trail through the marsh

View of the mountains from the marsh