We kicked off round one of a fun packed July with a trip to one of our favorite areas at Chapman Campgrond, near Ruedi reservoir and on the upper Frying Pan river. The day before a big wild-fire broke out in the town of Basalt evacuating most of the town and we almost had to abort due to access. We decided to just go for it and drove by flames and through the ash to reach our destination up a couple valleys safely away. We kept close tabs with the camp host as there’s basically one road in and one road out and thankfully the wildfire didn’t come our way. The campground was eerily quiet with most people no shows leaving all the best fishing spots to us! We had a beautiful spot right on the river and hauled in many fish during the evening hatches. The highlight was a real lunker that Will helped me wrangle in. We also attempted a hike to another lake but were thwarted as we mis-judged the elevation gain and croaked after what seemed like 2000 ft.
For the fourth, we celebrated with burgers, hot-dogs, and special pudding made by Linnea. Most of the days we spent down by the pond on the other side of the campground either fishing or just messing around in the water. For my birthday, we grilled steak and even had birthday cake. Later, we explored more fishing at Ruedi and after picking up some worms at the General Store caught too many fish to count. Both boys landed one of their own and we could barely get worms in the water before pulling something out. At one point Josh and Linnea lost the biggest fish of the day when it dove deep, spit the hook and tangled with our other line creating a huge mess. Toward the end of the trip all the boys wanted to do was touch the fish, now I just need to get them to take the off the hook. All in all, the 5 days camping flew by and we had a hard time packing up. It was refreshing time being off grid, without email and cellphone access, and away from the city. We made it back okay and were relieved to hit the main highway after driving by the charred forests. As I write this the Lake Christine fire is nearly 90% contained finally after burning about a month and over 12,000 acres. We stopped in Glenwood Springs for lunch and then made the marathon drive back to Denver.