We camped at May Queen although we were trying to go to Mary Queen like it was listed on the satellite view on google maps on the west side of Turquoise lake. Turns out the reason we couldn't find out any information about the campground was because it is really May Queen and it is part of the National Park Service which is always difficult to find on the internet. The government has yet to figure out how to advertise their worthwhile projects. Googling camping in Leadville only comes up with the commercial campgrounds. I usually try to avoid the commercial campgrounds because the sites are usually smaller, the neighbors are closer, the price is higher, and the nature is diluted.
Here is some information about the campground:
It was a beautiful campground on the west side of Turquoise Lake. There was drinking water and an outhouse (disguised as a log cabin) available for use. The sites were spacious and somewhat private. It also was approximately 0.5 miles from the end of segment 9 and the beginning of Segment 10 of the Colorado Trail as well as part of the Leadville 100 running course. It is also very close to the trailheads to Mt. Massive and Elbert.
I am obsessed with the Colorado Trail and Sean is obsessed with the Leadville 100. Luckily, we both got our wish and the two courses overlapped on Segment 10 of the Colorado Trail. A friend of ours suggested that we run 30 miles for my 30th birthday and Sean thought it was a brilliant idea. I ran a marathon on my 25th birthday, but wasn't as sure about running quite that far at 10,000ft of elevation. That being said, I am crazy enough to try it. So we went for a beautiful 30 mile run out and back run on segment 10 and 11 of the Colorado Trail. We had a great time and had a very relaxed fun run. The views were breathtaking, or maybe it was the altitude. That may be the prettiest segment of the Colorado Trail we have seen so far.
|Start of CT segment 10 (end of segment 9)|
|Mt. Massive Trailhead and Emerald Lake. End of segment 10 (Beginning of segment 11)|
The next day we went for a run on the North side of Turquoise lake. We only went 10 miles on the dirt singletrack moutainbike heaven. This is also part of the LT100 course. We ran by some closed mines
We also took a field trip downtown and had lunch and breakfast when the campstove refused to work (again). We were thinking that there should be a disclaimer on the campstove that says: "Do not expect this campstove to work above 5000 feet or in cold temperatures and if you don't believe in God or are not in the mood to pray don't even bother trying to use it." We are pretty sure that Coleman is trying to encourage people to pray before meals.
|Campstove of Frustration. People say Sean always smiles~ but this campstove proves that he is capable of frowning.|
While in town, we stopped at the Leadville Race series store and met an awesome lady who had done the Leadville 100 for the last 15 years and has been an ultrarunner for 30 years with few injuries. She was inspiring: she ran for the beauty, pleasure, and simplicity of running. She was a big proponent of running gadgetless and doesn't even wear a watch when she runs.
We went to the Leadville Hostel to take a shower. Probably the best 8 dollars I have ever spent. We were both feeling pretty gross after running 40 miles in 2 days. Sean's feet were impressively dirty. The hostel was super cute and welcoming. The bathrooms were very clean. We were hoping to stay there the week of the Leadville 100, but it was completely booked- maybe next year. http://www.leadvillehostel.com/home.htm
|Good thing he is dating a podiatrist.|
We called around, but all of the hotels were booked around the LT100 race weekend. We found the Sugar Loafin' Campground http://www.sugarloafin.com/index.htm and made reservations for the Leadville race series. They have showers and electric hook ups available, which will be as good as gold after each race. The campground has been family owned and operated for 40 years. The girl working was actually the granddaughter of the woman who started the campground.
Sean bought me some awesome presents: Brooks Cascadias 7, a cool Leadville hat, a picture frame with 2 of my favorite boys photos in it, a dog lover cup, and dinner at my favorite restaurant Little India after we got back.
|Brooks Cascadia 7|