Twin Lakes-Granite, Colorado

Twin Lakes Colorado

There’s not much else to say about Dexter Point located on the banks of Twin Lakes in Granite, Colorado other than, I like it! I like it a lot! I had no reservations scheduled for the night of May 24th and had hoped to have my first go at boondocking. Boondocking is free camping without the electric, water & sewer hook-ups that are frequently found at many park facilities. Many people assume boondocking means beaching out front of a Walmart store in the parking lot, but in fact, a very large percent of the US is designated public land where boondocking for up to 14 days at a time is permitted. Accessibility is a key term here as discussed in the Rocky Mountain NP blog. But if you have the right equipment and can get to the designated locations ahead of the competition, then it is quite possible to boondock relatively free on public lands….in theory at least. I will go into greater detail regarding the efficacy of the true potential as I accumulate time off-grid. There were several National Forests and sections of BLM land between Central City and my next planned stop in civilization in Buena Vista, Colorado where I had hoped to check out the Monarch Crest MBT (mountain bike trail). I set my sights on the only campsite on the route that I found on a map that did not require reservations five days in advance, Dexter Point. It also turned out to be the only one even open for the season and on completely public land in the San Isabel National Forest.

The campground itself is little more than a large gravel lot near the boat ramp access for the lakes but the view is far too distracting to concern oneself with little rocks under the wheels. Twin Lakes sit directly in view of Mount Elbert, Colorado’s highest peak measuring 14,433 feet and beating out Rocky Mountain NP’s highest peak and only 14’er, Long’s Peak, by just under 200 feet. I dropped the center jack on the trailer releasing the weight from the truck but otherwise left the rig hooked up since I had no plans of venturing further by road and to ease with load-out in the morning. I had several photos from Rocky Mountain NP I wanted to edit but needed to transfer them from my camera to the PC so I had an opportunity to test out the generator. I got my PC up and running on the Ginny and while there was no cell-service, the booster gave enough signal to transfer two photo files over the course of about twenty minutes. Slow, but mission accomplished. Totally off grid and still quasi-functional. The realistic prospects of the do-ability of a remote lifestyle increased again.

I spent most of the afternoon and evening shooting photos of the landscape and sunset. I have developed a real fondness for time-lapse reels and hope to turn out some decent ones. I spent the better part of three hours on the lake shore keeping the cam company before hunger set in. I desired to make my way back for a snack but was reluctant to leave the camera rig set up as it gathered footage. That’s the issue with time-lapse. Time lapses. The more the better, so I after seeing about a half dozen vehicles over the course of hours, I assumed the likelihood of interference was minimal and started making the half-mile walk back to the Ruck Rig. The course was difficult as the edges of the shore were mostly a mix of sand and large round rocks and small boulders forcing you to carefully select your steps to keep the ankles intact. I had measured the twenty minutes it took to cover the distance when I was plotting my sunset shoot earlier and I was about three minutes from the rig when I looked behind me and, in the distance, see a van pull off the road and a couple emerge and begin walking down the grade towards the lake. They were directly on a course to my camera sitting innocuously on a rock snapping 6 shots a minute. Really!?! You’ve got to be kidding! I cut into a wobbly sprint. Annoyed at the odds, the now fierce hunger and extra half mile dash through a sand strewn boulder field was not in my evening repertoire of relaxation intents. As they got closer, I calculated they would have 9 minutes to grab and go before I caught up. My wind got the best of me halfway there and I dropped into a lope and hoped they were the honest type as I watched them get within 15 feet of the cam and then cut left. Perhaps they saw me approaching…perhaps they didn’t notice it at all. By the time I arrived, they were halfway back up to their van and all was well. I decided to wait out the last hour despite my growling stomach. The things you do to get a shot. In the end, I had the cam pointed off center ever so slightly. I had wanted to capture the whole landscape but the arc of the setting sun pulled right putting the most colorful reflections out of frame. A great deal of time and effort for a mediocre shot but on location, the mountains were ablaze in a fiery wash of sun drenched orange.

The first round of boondocking was a success and the spectacular view etched a memory that will last my lifetime. I love this place and will stop here anytime in passing for a free night’s repast and peaceful view. I would even say it is worthy of a direct visit if you’re after a lake, looming mountains, crisp waters and a knock out sunset.

Ruck out…


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