Morning broke across the mountains; this is the view which welcomed me, along with a brisk north wind:
Brian was preoccupied with some personal correspondence and the other two campers hadn't shown any signs of life, so it was a great time for a little quiet time and reflection on the beauty of this valley; that, and got to try out some new toys; I felt like a model from a LL Bean catalogue, only shorter and balder, kind of like an ADV George Castanza.
By this time the others had become somewhat ambulatory, and as we were discussing the plans for the day, a young guy wandered into out camp, somewhat unexpectedly as we were approximately a mile from Gothic with nothing but mountains behind us. He said that he was one of three research students whose car was stuck in a creek back up in the mountains, and needed a ride down to Gothic to call a tow truck. He was obviously as green as a gourd, from New Orleans but had never heard the term "coon ass", had never been on a motorcycle. I didn't realize how nervous he was until he querulously asked if anyone had a helmet he could borrow; on the ride to Gothic, I made up a whopper about how my wife wouldn't ride with me anymore because of my frequent crashes, due in part to my recent addiction to cough syrup. I must have spooked the poor kid pretty badly, as he fairly leaped from the bike when we got to "town". When I rode back to camp, I decided to check out the next valley, when I discovered the stuck car, high centered in the creek a short distance from our tents with the other two research students wandering aimlessly. Knowing that we had the brute Samson-like strength of Fletch the Intiminator at our disposal, I volunteered our services, and with just a little effort, had them out of the creek and on their way back to town.
We packed up and headed towards Crested Butte to gas up and head west across Kebbler Pass; the fine folks of Gothic treated us like kings, their valley is a palace, and I wish them all the favor in this world... What a place.