We planned on heading up to the Continental Divide again, but the day before had been muddy, snowy, and not the fun we intended. The night before, we talked about staying lower in the valleys and seeing a bit more of the Fourmile Area and the trails south of where we were staying the Buena Vista KOA. It ended up being a great idea, and we had sun and gorgeous scenery all day. We met Matt in Johnson Village and headed just a bit east on the highway to turn off at forest service road 307. There was a lot of room there, so we aired down next to the pavement. We also watched the frozen mud slide off of most of the vehicles in the group.
Finding the Bassam Park trailhead was easy, and we were soon on our way. We passed the Bald Mountain Gulch trailhead and saw trucks, trailers, and people there. We had that trail planned for the following day, so we kept going.
It seemed like it was going to be a mellow drive, but then we came to Castle Park. There were multiple exclamations of "wow" and "ooh" on the CB, and we pulled to the side of the road for pictures. It was absolutely gorgeous. We could see lots of stands of trees in addition to the snow-capped peaks of the mountains we elected to stay out of. The skies were clear, and the mountains were probably melting, but we had perfect weather where we were.
We went a bit farther to Bassam Park and we stopped again for still more scenery. If this was any indication of our day we were in for a treat. Even the temperatures were perfect in the 60s.
We found ourselves at the end of the trail at the intersection with other trails. We planned on seeing three of the four trails, saving the trip into Hartsel for another day. It was a great start to a great day.