South Sand Creek Lake with MW friends

by: Samuel James

Late summer, 2023. A real good crew of Mission: Wolf summer staff took a quick (steep..) jaunt into the Sangre de Cristos for a simple two day, one night camping trip. Our destination: Lower Sand Creek Lake at the base of Tijeras peak—a striking, jagged point of rock visible 30 miles away at the sanctuary porch. Tijeras = scissors. 

Only fiveish miles but well over 2k feet in elevation gain was our endeavor. It just about killed one of us because like I said, steep, but we made it before too long. As you can see, we didn’t get rained on and it was warm enough we wore t-shirts the whole time.   

Same can’t be said about that evening. We had some grand plans for drinks and games and laughs all night…but were met with the reality of what it’s like when the sun goes down at 11,000 feet. Add some good, steady wind and we were tucked away from it real quick. Almost.

We were determined to “sleep under the stars” which is in quotes because it was cloudy the whole time. It was great, though. We hung a tarp and all sardined together. The tarp whipped all night and was noisy as hell but I wasn’t too cold. I don’t think anyone was miserable and it was a fun thing to have pulled off. We laughed plenty about it after the fact. We also had an epic game of Catan that night under the tarp and guess who won? You bet!  

see more from this trip at Samuel James’ page

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