On the trail: View from above | AspenTimes.com

On the trail: View from above

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

As a kid back in Maryland, the tallest thing I ever climbed was a 1,200-foot hill called Sugarloaf Mountain. In the 1930s, FDR thought about using Sugarloaf for his presidential retreats. It’s the Camp David that never was.

Compared with Mount Elbert, my first fourteener, Sugarloaf is just a little guy, a speed bump, a fun little hill to run up and see what my hometown of Rockville looks like from 25 miles away.

The view from Elbert on Saturday was somewhat different. Every few hundred feet, I had to stop and look over my shoulder at Twin Lakes, tracking the sun as it followed me over the mountain. After the treeline, I sat on a rock and stared down at the lakes, trying to remember what they looked like back in May during my first drive from Denver to Aspen.

At the summit, there was a dog named Coda – maybe half husky, half German shepherd – and she looked ready to do the hike all over again.

“Tallest peak in Colorado,” I told her.

She frowned at me like I was a tourist and walked away. That’s OK, I thought. Wait till ski season. Who’s gonna be the tourist then?