It was getting late and the weather was turning cold, but we didn't care. There were so many trails in the area yet to do, and a lot of us just didn't feel finished yet for the day. We headed a short distance on the pavement to connect with county road 18 to check out Thompson Park. We were happy to be following the GPS directions to the trailhead, though there were lots of signs pointing the way through the residential area.
The trailhead was wide so there would be room to air down there in the future. We were already ready to go, so we continued past it without stopping. Thompson Park was a wide meadow, and it was pretty in the fading light.
The trail soon turned into the trees, and honestly it was pretty boring. There was no scenery other than pine trees, and the trail was very flat and level. We hoped that the end result would make up for it, and we got lucky with that. The first section would make a good practice trail for new mountain bikers, and there was a decent and full campsite there in the trees.
The trail turned and we came out of the thick pine trees to find brush next to the trail instead. Mike had only owned his new Jeep for three months, so he wasn't happy about the new Rocky Mountain Pinstriping. When we came to a wider spot he pulled off of the trail to wait for us to go up and come back down. The rest of us didn't really care about our previously-scratched paint so we kept going through the brush.
The rest of the scraping didn't last for long, and soon we were climbing up to the top of the peak. It was a short but pretty climb, and there was plenty of room to park and turn around at the top. It was definitely cold as the sun started to set, but we still took lots of pictures and enjoyed the views. You could see the county road below us, and we talked about possibly running out to the end of it when we got there.
We eventually headed back down to find Mike still waiting for us, thankfully. It was a quick trip back through the trees. We took the Horseshoe spur out, and it was a pretty trip through aspens as we descended down to the county road. It looked like there were lots of campers there, but we didn't stay. We also decided not to do the rest of the county road, saving it for another time. We hoped to make it to Fairplay to have time for dinner.
We hustled back to town and got to the Brown Burro Cafe in time to eat. We called Bryan but they were in for the night, so it was just the four of us. We had a light dinner and then headed for home. It was a really great day of aspen viewing, and we were tired but content.