Monday, October 26, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
September 27. Two weeks 'til hunting season. 3:00 p.m.
Come on, Daughter! Grab a flashlight and jacket. Let's climb a mountain!
Perhaps starting a 6.5 mile hike at 3:30 in late September isn't the brightest plan, but, hey, we like walking in the dark. It's peaceful and refreshing.
The Silver Creek trail is steep! The low sun gleamed through the golden aspen as we walked in a fairy realm. We walked for an hour, and then two. We passed the point where we turned back last year. We plodded through the cool afternoon, and into the shadows of evening. Near the top, snow crossed the trail. We stepped carefully, and leaned on our trekking poles.
After four hours, we reached the saddle. A few years back, I summited and returned to my car in 4.5. This hike is part of my Odyssey to regain strength, stamina, and general fitness. All this extra weight seriously slows me down!
We snacked while sitting on a fabulous log, watching Yale and the other mountains fade to black.
The Collegiate Peaks still resist the massive beetle kills overwhelming other parts of the state. But, there are plenty of downed trees. I was shocked, several times, by how unearthed tree roots mimic the outline of a mountain lion. At least, by flashlight.
Finally, we reached the last slope. Hubby flipped on the car lights, and we waved our flashlights back. We zig-zagged down the open face of the hill, a section I know well. Since it's south-facing, that section is dry much of the winter, so I often hike those switchbacks as training.
We celebrated when we reached the creek crossings. Daughter reminisced of her younger years when she begged to play in the little rivulets. This time, we crossed carefully, neither of us wanting colder feet. We strode past the last few aspen, and met hubby and the warm car for a chauffeured ride home.