Altitude High

Traveling to far away places and writing about them can be exhilarating.  But so can wandering to places near your own backyard.  It really makes you appreciate what you have…especially when its’ very existence is threatened.


Two boys view Spring Creek wildfire near LaVeta


Colorado Wildfire Update:  Spring Creek Fire has grown to over 100,000 acres

Third largest fire in Colorado history

Reading headlines these days can be heartbreaking, especially when it’s so close to home.  Spring Creek is located in the southwest mountains particularly in the Spanish Peaks area, home to some of the state’s most beautiful scenery and epic hiking/climbing.


East side view of Spanish Peaks


Just three weeks ago, we were enjoying a camping trip with friends to Spanish Peaks.  Our campsite was at the top of Cordova Pass, nestled at the foot of the 13,600′ West Spanish Peak mountain.  We arrived on a Wednesday evening, set up camp and then headed out on a short hike to view the “beast” we hoped to summit the next day.


West Spanish Peak. So close, yet so far.

On Thursday morning, we were grateful for a chill in the air as we started out on the trail.  The short hike to tree-line was enough to warm up the bones but it didn’t prepare us for the long haul up the face of the mountain which involved scrambling up a steep stony slope covered with loose shale and scree for another three hours.

Halfway point rest stop

We summited mid-afternoon and were rewarded with 360 views from what seemed like the top of the world.  If you’ve ever hiked a 14’er, then you know what I’m talking about.  Rocky Mountain High never felt so good!

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Summit – West Spanish Peak


We are thankful for the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful part of our country just two weeks before the devastating fire that has gobbled up land and homes around little towns like Cuchara and LaVeta.  Our prayers are with those residents who are left homeless and traumatized by the carelessness of one camper.

And we hope that soon the skies will be red with nothing except the awe-inspiring southwestern sunset.

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6 thoughts on “Altitude High

  1. Kenny Noble Cortes

    Beautiful story, Mel. Beautiful photos. I am trying to appreciate everything Colorado while we are still here. Kay and I have made the difficult decision to sell our home and use the equity to buy a home in the Georgia woods near our daughter and grand kids. It was very hard for me to come along with this, but Kay deserves to retire and the only way we can pull this off is to sell and downsize. Our home will be listed July 19 with an Open House on Saturday the 21st. We sadly leave our boys (who have their own lives) and hope to be on the road no later than late August. I’m hoping to remain with Renewed on same basis – tours and so forth, but that may not be possible from their end. We will meet tomorrow to discuss. The music component to all this cannot be overstated, but it is what it is and I know God will have plans for me in Georgia.

    Keep up your awesome blog!



    1. Melanie A Crane

      Best wishes to you and Kay from the bottom of my heart. I know you will be a blessing to those folks in Georgia! Keep in touch and I’ll let you know about my book when its released. Love you two!


  2. Jennifer Lane

    Mel, love your blog. Keep digging inside your heart. There are many more words to be expressed about your experience in Crete. Also, please know that we will be among your first customers.

    I would preorder 2 books with your sig.

    Mailed to my mom in Indiana. 1: my mom Delores 2: me and Gio

    I’ll give you mailing and payment details later but count us for 2 💝=|= > >


    1. Melanie A Crane

      Thanks Jenn – as always, so great to hear from you. We share some good memories of that special island, don’t we?!


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