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California
  Rocky Mountains
  August 1997

The very first day we landed in Denver International Airport. That is a huge brand new building! Very nice one. We rented a car and started ahead Boris house. First thing I didn't turn head lights on (it was 1 am) and we were cruising 60 m/h like in open space: only stars around. Next day we with Boris drew to The Rocky Mountains National Park. We pitched our tent at campground and rushed toward the lake. The nature is very close to Central Tian-Shan (Terskey Alatay) but not so steep. We did a nice 5 miles loop, got back to our tent and had smoked trout with extremely tasty domestic beer.
Third day we spent in Glacier Basin, climbed to the Continental divide, saw Frozen lake, beautiful Spearhead summit, Longs peak. Jane was in serious mountains first time so she found getting through rocks not pleasant. On our way back we saw some strange bird, that refused to fly or just go away from us and we did very close pictures ( 2 feet ). Down in the valley we met two elks. They were big! That day we did decent hike and were very tired. Next morning we woke up 9 am, had lazy breakfast and started cruising toward Odessa lake. This lake surrounded by steep mountains very Alpine style. One of the summits even has name Little Matternhorn. There were so many flowers, marmots, birds that I remember this valley like a paradise.
The fifth day we get backcountry permit for sleeping at campsites near Longs peak. I tried to get it month ago and failed - everything was booked. Now we get permit right in time. What a success! We loaded our backpacks and slowly started moving toward Long peak. We did a small loop and visited Fetch lake - right under 1000 m Diamond wall of Long peak. We saw five climbers climbing somewhere in the middle of the wall. Very scary. It is so exposed! 90 degree wall 1000 m at least!We were moving quite slow, but we passed group that was moving very fast and taking long brakes. We passed them and in ten minutes reached the campsites. We picked the best one and then they arrived. I was so happy about that! We pitched our tent with nice view toward the summit. Boris prepared wonderful mashed potatoes and potato soup from the remanding of the mashed potato. Everything was tasty and funny. I walked to the edge to see the Diamond wall again and saw two people preparing for a sleep in hammocks right at the middle of the wall. That was way too cool! Those guys are supermen.
4 o'clock in the morning we woke up, had unhealthy coffee and rushed in the darkness to the Keyholl. One guy passed us - he started 2 o'clock from the parking lot. That easiest route to the summit is also is the safest and also, most stupid route that I ever saw. We went all over the summit - we started from North-East, crossed whole West side and South side and climbed to the top from South-East. That was the first summit for Jane so she was scared and cried a little bit. Some parts of Route were quite exposed and you could see lakes far down if you take a look between your legs. We climbed the summit and at that time there were just one more guy, that passed us. We did some pictures, eat some snacks. At that time there were around 10 people on the flat field that is the summit of Longs peak. We rushed back. Jane was really unhappy going down. All the time that we spend on the top, she was thinking about descend. It was much worth than going up - the trail was very crowded. When we reached our camp, it was hot and sunny. Two grand-mothers found nice flat stone in a few feet's from our tent and started long, hour and a half discussion of everything that is going on around. That was very annoying. I felt like in subway in rush hour, not like in mountains. We packed our stuff very fast and run out from those big-mouth ladies. But at the same moment they started walking down too! We couldn't take a long rest on our way to parking lot - sound of following us grand-mothers make us run and run.

That evening we drew to Boris house, had a nice home-made dinner and slept in soft bad. What a rest! Sevens day we left Boris at home (he had to got back to work) and drew to nice valley of Sister lakes. Now just two of us were walking toward new summits - Three Apostles. At the end of the day we were deep in remote mountains - between summit Howard and Three Apostles. We spend a night in cozy valley near our new destination - pass to the parallel valley. We were afraid of animals and hung our food high on a tree. But nobody disturbed us that night.

The next day Jane didn't feel good, but we still packed our backpacks and started to climb the steep pass. At the pass suddenly it's started snowing. The other side of the pass was extremely steep, Jane felt bad and we turned back. That was my mistake to go there, I over-estimated our skills. Well, it is a good lesson for me. But we still had some fun. The nature was gorgeous and weather turned to be good. We pitched our tent at nice meadow with a great view of Three Apostles.

The ninth day we returned back to civilization. We spend some time in nice town Bueno Vista. The name of the town tells itself - from Spanish it means "nice view". This town bought a new fire-truck and because of this, they had small holiday. After visiting the central street we drew to hot springs. That's a feeling - dive into hot water after few days of backpacking! Rested, we started our way back. What a gorgeous road it was! Country side in Colorado is not comparable with New York one. At Boris house we had nice BBQ with domestic beer again. What a life - to have grill in your backyard with nice view! An American dream. Next morning we went back to Denver. Now there were four of us - Gala and Boris were showing us the city. Well, downtown impressed us - it was clean, new build. We liked it a lot. We had eat to the rock bottom in restaurant "Rock Bottom". We were so full that didn't eat the rest of the day. At the evening Boris and we went to park nearby (Gala fall asleep). At the park we saw a deer. It was 5 min. drive from Boris house. What a nature in Colorado! We decided to move some day to Denver. With this thoughts we loaded into airplane the next day and flew back to foggy and humid New York.
Photos by Boris Krivoruk