Maybe you’ve noticed, but we tend to have a heavy-activity day and then a lighter rest day.

Thursday we took slower. We went into town again, some got coffee, and two went for a run. Then, in the evening, dinner, Bible time, and packing our bags for the next day’s adventure. That truly was quite a hike. Can’t wait to share about that next!


Anna bought Mary and me donuts. Delicious!
Jesse caught up on some work (and sorry, Jesse, we cluttered his table with our laptops and such when we went shopping)
Walking around town

“Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means.
The Lord be with you all.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16

Kroenke Lake and Browns Pass Hike

We decided to go for a new hike Wednesday. Kroenke Lake, which is 8 miles round trip, begins at the Harvard/Columbia trailhead. A local told us Kroenke is pronounced like Cranky!

The day proved to be another dream day temperature wise. The tall aspen and pine trees graced the forest, and occasionally the trail would take us next to the stream. You wouldn’t believe the assortment of topics covered as we hiked. Everything from deep spiritual things to stories.

Love that sunshine coming through the trees!

I thought this looked like a lovely meadow to take the girls’ picture. Well, looks can be deceiving. It was extremely marshy and mucky!

Jesse’s boots after going through a mud bog.

Arriving at the lake!

The advantages of waterproof boots abound.

The immediate Maxwell family

It was right about now that Dad brought up the fabulous idea that we could hike up over the ridge. Jesse, who is our ace navigator in the mountains (he seems to know all the names of the 14ers and passes and such), began to work through details. Sure enough, he even had a map on his phone.

Dad and Mom

So, we decided to go on an adventure. Dad and Mom would go back the way we came, and the rest of us would head up on over the mountains, down to the pass, and end up at the Yale trailhead. Jesse guessed we would be ready for pick up between 3-4.

We took a trail and began climbing at a steady pace. You’ll see the lake above.

Mary, Jesse, John, and Anna stopping to let me grab their picture.

Then, we hit the views. Amazing, beautiful, stunning.

At the pass! The storm clouds looked impressive, but they didn’t come our direction.

A group selfie before continuing.

The trail actually joined up to the Yale split off, so we had a great view of Yale!

We found a 14ers truck in the parking lot, so we got a selfie with it. We’re so grateful for all their work on the trails!

A soak in the mountain stream was just the thing after a hike.

We were excited to see our ride show up a little before 3:30. Jesse’s estimate had been nearly perfect. We arrived at the trailhead about 3.


PS – We are safely home tonight and will update with more pictures of another adventure from Friday!

“Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 103:5


Finishing out the Birthday and a Quiet Day

We finished out Mary’s birthday with pizza and ice cream—her choice for dinner. So delicious!

Dove chocolate caramels for Mary (I like to give a bonus birthday treat on birthdays: I gave this to Mary the night before)
We girls closed out the evening with a game of Settlers.

Tuesday we took as a quieter day. We girls went on a great run outside of town on a trail. I have to say the scenery is incredible, definitely not Kansas scenery. I’m not sure which was better: the beautiful, bubbling stream or the mountains framing the sky?

The family caught up on work things too with the better Internet connection. That evening, we went out for dinner at a great little steak place. The funny part is they literally only serve steak (well, almost). Meaning you don’t have other menu choices! The steaks come in several sizes and are very reasonably priced. You get a salad, a side of bread, and a baked potato. A highlight was having the same waitress we had last year and greatly enjoyed, and she’s a believer.

Next up will be Wednesday’s adventure, which turned out to be more than we had planned on.


“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.”
Psalm 103:2

Mount Yale, A Great 14er

I can’t tell you how amazing our time is here in the mountains! And the weather. I’m still marveling. We’ve not had a year with such perfect weather for quite some time.

Anyway, Monday morning, Mary’s 21st birthday, we set out for Mount Yale. The temperatures allowed for just a light jacket to begin with, which is totally perfect.

Mary, Anna, and me

We enjoy talking while we hike, but sometimes quietness is just the thing too. Eating is essential to keep the energy going! 

You might even have multiple pictures going at once.


Look at those puffy clouds!

It’s hard to describe the feeling one has watching the sun hit the surrounding mountains with its cheerful rays as you hike.

This is how deceiving distance can be when climbing. I’m actually pointing to Mt. Yale! But we were still a long way off.

It’s also a fun past time to keep track of hikers who are ahead of us on the trail, and see what progress they’re making, or to chat with them in passing.

We’re very grateful for all the work organizations have done on the trails (like Often, steep sections will be easier because of switchbacks. Here the family is climbing up the switchback before the saddle. After a break on the saddle, we begin the final ascent.

You can’t see the summit in the photo as it is behind this first rock formation.

The last stretch is bouldering. Basically climbing over large rocks. The nice part about this summit is these rocks are stable.

Jesse on the summit!

Beside August 21st being my sweet sister’s birthday, this year was also known for the big solar eclipse event. Christopher kindly gave us those special glasses to wear, so we each stuck one in our packs. Up on the summit, other hikers thoroughly enjoyed our glasses too and were often borrowing them to check on the progress of the eclipse. I have to say those glasses weren’t made for fashion: but they do the job! As the eclipse progressed, the shadows changed, and the light dimmed too. We can all agree that experiencing the eclipse on the mountain really was a highlight!

You honestly can’t see anything else with those glasses beside the sun!

Junior Mints are the best summit food!

My parents are incredible, hiking a 14er!



Our family on the summit.

The birthday girl!

Coming back down, we took our time. Even though storm clouds built behind us, we didn’t get caught in a storm. Such a blessing!

I said fuel was essential. Energy bars (such as Clif bars) are great, but hey, snack mix is really great too, oh, and those mini York mints!

Anna and me

All in all, Mount Yale is a great 14er hike!

More adventures coming. Stay tuned.


“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
Psalm 8:3-4

Campfire and a Cold Dip

Our weather here in Colorado has truly been amazing. Much less rain than other years and also warmer. Just the right temperatures!

John is our ace fire starter, so he went down early and got our fire going. The night couldn’t have been more perfect. Not warm, and it only got cool when the sun went down, and then we had the fire to keep warm. We loved our talks around the fire, Bible time, singing, and then more talking!

Jesse getting our roasting sticks ready

Anna’s making this look harder than it is!

On to Sunday

Anna often hikes up from the cabin to have her Bible time. Here’s her selfie.

Dad and Mom made us a delicious breakfast.

We had worship outside. Delightful.

Anna got this crazy idea to dump in the middle of the ponds and swim to shore. This is not an ordinary pond. We’re talking cold. Above, they’re getting close to dumping, and Mary’s wondering why she’s really doing this?

Getting ready!


Brave girls! That was a cold swim!


“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest
observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant
commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left,
that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.”
Joshua 1:7

A Sneak Preview of our Mt. Yale Hike

Y’all, we had a fantastic day summiting Mt. Yale on Mary’s 21st birthday. We actually did that same summit four years prior on her birthday!

I have a ton of pictures to sort through, and I’ll be sharing them with you soon, but I had to give you a peek.

And yes, we saw the eclipse! Awesome and amazing!


I hurried ahead to get some pictures of the family coming up the trail at times.

“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and
the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the
earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as
head above all.”
1 Chronicles 29:11