9/11 in the Weminuche

In September 2001, my wife and I met some friends in Durango, CO for a few days of hiking and camping in the Weminuche Wilderness.

9/9 We got off the narrow gauge Durango-Silverton train at the trailhead and hiked up into Chicago Basin to our base camp.

9/10 I reached the summit of 14er Windom Peak on a beautiful day and marveled at the incredible view.

9/11 We all made it up to Columbine Pass on another great day with amazing  views; completely unaware of the events taking place in New York and Washington, D.C.

9/12 We got up in the morning and prepared to breakdown camp. As we started to take down our tents, several mountain goats came down to a grassy area near our camp to graze. We were all feeling a genuine Rocky Mountain High at that moment and a sense of joy remained with us as we hiked back to catch the train.

As the train approached, we could see people leaning out of the windows waving frantically at us. We thought we were getting an exuberant greeting until we heard them yelling, “We’re at war! We’ve been bombed!” 

After boarding, we were overwhelmed with a confusion of agitated strangers and their unbelievable story. It wasn’t until we checked into our motel and turned on the television did we fully realize what had happened while we were in the wilderness.

That sudden spiritual whiplash–from earthly bliss to man-made shock–is what I remember most when I think of 9/11.

One Response to “9/11 in the Weminuche”

  1. […] Overall, I am satisfied  I achieved my general goal of exploring the backcountry of Colorado and I preserved my long standing tradition of spending September 11 in the mountains. […]

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