When we arrive at Bottle Creek campground, Pete remarks that it looks like “the Land of Mordor”. The surroundings are beautiful, but the campground has been clear cut to remove trees killed by pine beetles that could fall on campers. The entire region is peppered with brown trees fallen victim to beetles. Eventually it will burn or be logged, and the landscape will look completely different.
My dad and Sarah come from Indian Hills, Molly and Jay show up from Laramie, Kate comes from Fort Collins, Jim rides with us and takes our car back to Denver, and finally our pit crew Bob and Carol arrive from Nampa, Idaho. We thank everyone who made the journey to see us off!