A Triple 14er: Democrat, Cameron, and Lincoln

Monday morning didn’t start too promising, because we woke to rain and lightning. Consulting the weather, we saw that the area where we were going didn’t seem to forecast storms until later, and the radar looked okay, so we decided to try it. Thankfully, the storms moved away.

We took John’s truck to the trailhead (Kite Lake). When we got to the parking area, we could tell this was a popular hike by all the vehicles, tents, and people!

We hit the trail around 7:30 Central. It was a beautiful birthday morning, and we began our climb.

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When we reached the ridge, there were two options: left was Democrat and right went to Cameron and Lincoln, so we went left since Mt. Democrat was our destination. We met a fair number of people and it’s fun to talk to them. Of course, you can tell the really fit ones, because when the path gets harder, some of us quit talking, while those who aren’t struggling can keep talking!

Here is where we went to the left to go to Democrat.
Here is where we went to the left to go to Democrat.

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Even though the next area was a rock field, the path was generally easy to keep to, and if you strayed, you’d easily find the path again. We got to the false summit and could see the real summit–not far! 

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There was even a patch of snow to go through.
There was even a patch of snow to go through.
"Smile, girls!"
“Smile, girls!”

We pressed forward and summited about 9:50 am. Hooray! It’s always a great feeling to reach the top.

Anna taking a selfie after she summited.
Anna taking a selfie after she summited.
Happy birthday!
Happy birthday!

Dad and Mom were a few minutes behind us so as they summited we sang Happy Birthday to Mom. The others already on top seemed to enjoy that, too, and some even joined us.

We took pictures, the younger 4 did 14 burpees, and then John, Anna, Jesse, Mary, and I decided to go for Cameron and Lincoln.

Dad and Mom, on their anniversary and Mom's birthday!
Dad and Mom, on their anniversary and Mom’s birthday!
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Pringles are a Maxwell staple on hikes.
Mary
Mary
Way to go!
Way to go!

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Lots of action on the summit.
Lots of action on the summit.

Dad and Mom would take their time on the summit and make a slower descent on Democrat. So, we “kids” rushed off.

When we reached the trail split off, we continued across the ridge toward Cameron. This was the hardest part of all, with steep, rocky sections.

You can see the path behind Jesse to the left.
You can see the path behind Jesse to the left.

As we continued toward Cameron, the wind became really strong, but the views were incredible! We reached Cameron about 11:22 am. It was the most unique 14er we’d seen yet with a very flat top. We grabbed more pictures, and layered up, as the wind whipped around us.

Mount Cameron!
Mount Cameron!

We started out for Lincoln, and it only took 15 minutes to summit! It was a pretty easy trek. 

You can see the path. We dipped down and then climbed.
You can see the path. We dipped down and then climbed.

There were many people up on the summit, which made getting our group picture super easy. In addition, since this was a loop, we consistently saw people we’d seen along the trek.

Lincoln’s summit was rocky, with jagged drop offs, but enough room for the group. The younger four did 14 burpees to celebrate, much to the cheering of the onlookers.

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Jesse and John
Jesse and John

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Then, we turned our focus to making the descent. We enjoyed chatting and making our way down to meet Dad and Mom.

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Going back to Cameron.
You can see the path. We dipped down and then climbed.
You can see the path. We dipped down and then climbed.

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Dad and Mom down near the trailhead. You can see the false summit behind them.
Someone was very kind to grab our family picture for us after the climb.
Someone was very kind to grab our family picture for us after the climb.

“The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty;
the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith
he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished,
that it cannot be moved.”
Psalm 93:1

Mount Democrat: A Maxwell 14er

I’ll give you a peek into yesterday’s hike. I have many pictures to sort through from various phones and my DSLR. Mom had the time of her life with hiking a 14er on her 60th birthday. It was great!

To make things more interesting, John, Anna, Jesse, Mary, and I hiked two more 14ers right near Democrat: Mount Cameron and Mount Lincoln. I’ll share some pictures from the trek up to Democrat below, but I have many more, along with the adventure to summit the double 14ers.

Enjoying Colorado!

Love,
Sarah

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Mount Democrat Family Picture

“The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever:
the LORD shall rejoice in his works.”
Psalm 104:31

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!

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Happy 60th Birthday, Mom! We are so grateful for your life and testimony for Jesus Christ. You are an incredible mom, wife, grandma, and follower of the Lord. Thank you for the sacrifices you make every day for others.

Happy Birthday! We love you so much! Happy Anniversary, Dad and Mom.

We’re celebrating with a 14er hike (hopefully rain isn’t a problem), and Mom’s so excited.

Mom’s personality: Spunky, determined, sacrificial, loving, compassionate, disciplined

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“Who can find a virtuous woman?
for her price is far above rubies.”
Proverbs 31:10

Random from Our Drive and Time Here

We decided to make the drive all in one day, and we arrived at our cabin around 6:30 Saturday evening.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be in the mountains. Every where you look you see amazing signs of God’s Creation. It’s a beautiful, incredible, gorgeous place.

This morning, Anna had a bit of excitement. She and I had hiked up a little past our cabin to have our time in God’s Word. The sunrise was lovely as the water droplets sparkled on the grass. Hummingbirds buzzed (or dived?!) around, squirrels chattered, and–wait. I have to tell you what happened. Anna heard the squirrels making quite a noise, which was a little unusual. She got up to see if she could see something, and suddenly, right near her, a black bear hurried by. Anna came up the trail and calmly told me she’d just seen a bear. I thought she was teasing she was so calm, but it was true! Wow! Since he’d surprised her and was running fast, Anna didn’t have time to grab a picture.

Lord willing, we plan to hike a 14er on Mom’s 60th birthday tomorrow. Yay!

Love,
Sarah

Sunflowers!
Sunflowers!

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Mom next to the Colorado sign as we drove by!
Mom next to the Colorado sign as we drove by!

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Jesse has always taken amazing iPhone pictures. Now, he's stepping into the DSLR world.
Jesse has always taken amazing iPhone pictures. Now, he’s stepping into the DSLR world.
Making gravy this morning.
Making gravy this morning.
Worship this morning
Worship this morning
A new friend joined us at the cabin and has loved all the attention. He enjoys milk!
A new friend joined us at the cabin and has loved all the attention. He enjoys milk!
We had a great time at the ponds, and Dad had his weekly meeting with some too.
We had a great time at the ponds, and Dad had his weekly meetings.

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Jesse braved the ice-cold water! It was an amazing feat.
Jesse braved the ice-cold water! It was an amazing feat.
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We came in early due to the rain.

“The heavens declare his righteousness,
and all the people see his glory.”
Psalm 97:6

On the Road

We are happily headed west to Colorado. It’s almost too good to be true!

I want to give you some background. First, we weren’t planning on going to Colorado this year.

Four years ago, we surprised Dad for his 60th and went on a trip to the drive-through animal safari (see these posts: Dad’s 60th Surprise, Birthday Surprise – Part 1 and Part 2). We wanted to do something special for Mom’s 60th as well (Monday, the 17th). As the summer went on, none of our ideas compared to Colorado, but it looked unlikely that it would work out. Finally, Sunday, August 2nd, we felt the Lord’s leading to go. We wanted to surprise Mom.

The timing was incredible. Dad and Mom were going to an out-of-state conference that Monday through Friday. So, the girls kicked into gear, planning meals, cooking, and baking. The family who normally shipped for Titus 2 while we are away wasn’t available, and Anna Marie offered to ship for us. So during that week, she brushed up on her shipping skills (again: keeping it all a secret!). Excitement abounded as we thought about the trip, but we also tried to guard ourselves, for fear we’d slip up and mention something.

When Dad and Mom came home, we went back into our not-talking-about-Colorado mode. It was hard.

Dad, John, Anna, Jesse, Mary, and I had discussions on how we were going to tell her. We debated the pros and cons to surprising her Friday (24 hours) or Thursday (48 hours). Due to a change of plans having to do with a funeral for an elderly friend, we chose Thursday.

Wednesday evening, after Dad and Mom went to bed, we met for a last-minute planning meeting to pull off the surprise. The next morning couldn’t come soon enough. We tried to act normal at Bible time, and afterward Dad and Mom went downstairs to do their kettle bell workout while we girls “headed out to sprint.” Meanwhile, Jesse slipped off to the store to buy donuts. After a short time of sprinting, we hurried back inside to begin preparations. We pulled out tubs of packed food and other trip things, and we also decorated. Finally, the moment came. Mom and Dad came up, and at first, Mom thought I was staging things for a Moody picture (yes, the next Moody book has been in full swing this summer). As she came into the kitchen and saw the decorations and donuts, she started to wonder. Finally, she said something about, “It looks like a picture.”

Anna said, “Would you like to join the picture?” and then as Mom still looked perplexed, Anna added: “We’re going to Colorado, are you coming with us?” Mom began to cry with joy. She was completely, 100% shocked! Yay! It worked!

The next 48 hours, we all kicked into high gear. Now we’re enjoying relaxing while we drive ;). Colorado, here we come!

I can’t wait to share our adventures.

I want to say how amazing my sisters are. They both spent countless hours working on preparations and planning!

Love,
Sarah

Deciding what clothes to take is easier for some than others.
Deciding what clothes to take is easier for some than others.
Our wonderful mom!
Our wonderful mom!
Packing John's truck.
Packing John’s truck.

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Joseph had a barbecue last night and invited us all. We had a sweet time and enjoyed seeing Elissa’s family.

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There were a lot of us!

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Packing out this morning. We decided not to bring a trailer. With only our immediate family going, we managed to fit everything in the van and John’s truck.

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praiseth her.”
Proverbs 31:28

Excitement Abounds: Can You Guess?

I’ll give you a hint. We surprised a certain person this morning with the news.

Come one, come all. Let the guessing begin!

Love,
Sarah

Friday morning update: You all are great guessers, and the guesses are accurate, but we have another piece of the puzzle that’s not being put in quite right. I’d like a specific — it’s the real reason for this trip. Keep at it. Someone is going to nail this, I know!

Friday afternoon update: Congratulations, Daybreaking, you guessed it. Read her comment to see what the answer is.

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“Give her of the fruit of her hands;
and let her own works praise her in the gates.”
Proverbs 31:31

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.