Sunday, August 3, 2008

Beautiful Hike - aka "Bobbie's Hike to Death"

Midway through our week in Colorado, we decided to have a day of exploration.  Armed with a really bad map - which would have been more helpful than not using it at all it seems - we took off on a semi-backroad to hike up to this lake we were told was beautiful.  Should have seen the problems coming when the trailhead wasn't even marked.  The trail for the most part was clear - until it diverged (ode to Frost), and we guessed which to take.  The "strenuous hike due to climb in elevation of 3,000 feet" became my death when we started going back down... then had to go back up cause it was the wrong way... then finally back down to our car.  Let's say, my breaks every 5-10 minutes at the beginning were nothing compared to the 10 steps at a time that I could manage on the way back up that 3000 feet (for the second time)... It's a good thing no one else was around... I was mortified enough as it was of my ineptitude when it was just the hubby and me.  Didn't make me feel much better when we talked to the 60ish y/o men who had hiked 15 miles that day...  If there is a self-help idea out there, I used it on that hike.  "1 step, 2 steps, 3 steps... you can make to that big rock... oh, no I can't... break... Dear God, I'm going to die!... "
Our drive to the hike was truly beautiful with tons of meadows.  Amazing being somewhere few people have seen as it's "off the beaten path".  Saw several deer - like to look, not kill, thank you - and a wolf on the way in!
Note the climb in elevation - this is the START of the hike!
Trying to find some animals - they must be here somewhere!

Wild columbines - who knew?  The flowers were everywhere... Meadows full of blue and yellow and white.
Don't be fulled by this smile - you probably aren't because it is so fake :)  Do people on their death beds have one last smile - if not, this was me starting a trend.  Lesson: take more water than you think you'll need and don't pack salty foods for a snack!  Oh yeah, read the map - and find a better one than the free one (reason it was free!).
Hard to see... but right below the highest point in the top is a marmot (?).. Mom says they are also called whistling pigs.  They (there were 2 of them) did whistle when we passed by again on the way back to the car.
We saw lots of tracks in the fresh mud - thought these might be bears?  Granted, no large animals decided to say hi on our hike.  Definitely had been around, however.
This was about the time Greg recognized the hike - from the OTHER direction - and decided we needed to turn around.  We had a nice little lunch on a rock in the middle of this field.
So, at one point we decided that if we followed the water, we would eventually run into the lake that it fed... Then it occurred to me that perhaps it was feeding out of the lake instead.

On our way back to the highways, we saw a momma deer and her two little fawns - white spots and all
Greg tried to find the lake on the way back up - while I was trying to breathe, he would run over other little mountains to try to find it - still eluded us, however.  Did I mention the guys (only other people) we saw on our hike got lost as well... Granted that 50 year old ran up the mountain compared to me.

As Greg said, "This would have been my favorite hike if you were enjoying it... Actually, it still is."  Truly beautiful.  And let's face it, every once in a while, you need to have your butt kicked and reach the low point to get it in gear.  I did get a bike for my bday - plan to get on it tomorrow.  You have to have some daylight before/after work without a baby and stay home to use it!

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