28-May-2001 -- This confluence is located on the beautiful Grand Mesa, which we can see from our house (see photo). The Mesa is 11,000 feet at the highest point and jeweled by hundreds of lakes scattered around the rim of the mountain. It is billed as the largest and highest mountain mesa in the world. The GPS unit indicates the confluence is at an elevation of 9800 feet and 6.68 miles from our back deck, which is at an elevation of about 7150 feet.
We decided to make this hike on Memorial Day, our first summer hike. The confluence is located 0.68 miles South of Highway 65 where we left our car. We picked a beautiful Colorado day to make this hike through emerald green meadows filled with Marsh Daisies, Buttercups, Peppermint Tops, and Skunk Cabbage Thumbs. The Aspen trees were just starting to leaf out with quarter sized spring green leaves. Most of the hike was along a clearly distinguishable fishermen’s trail.
We came across several small ponds full of Spring Peepers (a small Leopard Frog variety) that were making a raucous clamor singing to welcome another summer. We snuck up on a pond full of them singing, and as soon as we thought we might be able to see them, they became dead silent. We waded and crawled and sat in silence to try to capture them but we could only catch quick glimpses of them scurrying off through the grass in the pond. As soon as we walked a short way from the pond they started singing again taunting us as if to say "Na Na Na Na Na Naaaa." So in honor of the wily frogs we decided to name this confluence the "Spring Peeper Confluence."
Nancy and Dan Lamar (sister and bro-in-law), Rachel Smith (best-friend of Kristin), Brenna and Kristin Otts (daughters), Bif, Dixie (dogs), and me, Ken Nordstrom, all made it to the confluence, in about half an hour. We built a cairn on the rock where the GPS zeroed out, took pictures, explored a bit, and then headed back to the house for a great family Bar-B-Q with my wife, Betsy, and parents, Ray and Pat Nordstrom.
Actually, this was our second visit to this location. On our first trip, May 13, 2001, our pictures didn’t turn out except for the one of the GPS unit, which I’ve posted. Then on our Memorial Day trip all the pictures turned out except the one of the GPS unit. So, our pictures are mixed from our visit on the 13th and the 28th. Consider this one a double visit.