Met up with Jim and lil' Jim and headed out to JPWA. We drove through clear creek canyon, through Central City and up into the mountains. The off-road driving is slow and jarring. The path is unmaintained which in the Rockies means, yes, lots of rocks. I found myself wishing I was wearing one of those double strap harness seatbelts.
Here is a clip of us traversing the mountains and approaching an ancient juniper forest. It's hard to make out in the video, but the junipers are all growing totally sideways due to the voracious winds that rip into them during the winter.
Bumping and bouncing along, the first glimpse of one of our lakes peeks around a mountain side - Echo Lake.
...and then James Peak Lake and little James below it complete the triad of fishing ahead of us. This is the first time I've ever looked down onto the lakes I'm about to fish. Normally it's a trek up.
We briskly scamper down the path to get out of the 40+ mile per hour winds on the knoll, and look back up to where we have to return. Always in the mind of a hiker - what goes down must come up. Jim's jeep rests invitingly at the top of the foot path.
The scenery included the typical critters along with some literal twisted metal in the rocks.
See, not all people are qualified to drive in the mountains. In fact, not all people are qualified to drive on paved roads. The difference is that those who can't drive on roads run into cars, signs, curbs, etc., while those who can't drive on mountains run into... err, fall off of, mountains.
We pass little James lake on the way. This lake is pretty shallow and probably winter kills so we didn't spend any time on it.
The jaunt ends at an old miner's cabin that overlooks James Peak Lake.
The lake produced small cutties and was just gorgeous. The clouds were soaring across the sky and casting flowing shadows across the mountain sides.
After spending some time fishing, relaxing, and taking photos we moved on to Echo Lake. We had heard that there are lakers in Echo. Lakers (aka mackinaw, lake trout) live very deep. Echo lake is an absolute pit of a lake that just drops straight down into an abyss.
We saw nary a fish. I fished my sinking tip as deep as I could for some time, which gets very tiresome and boring. I hate to say it, but barring a very unique day, this lake is more fit for spin casting a big chunk of metal down into the depths.
We packed out around 3 and I got back to Golden just in time to meet my brother to head to the STS9 concert at Red Rocks.
I could barely stand up by the end of the concert. What a sweet day. Gotta love Colorado.