Category Archives: Vacation

A Double Adventure: Mt. Shavano and Tabeguache

A little before five a.m. Thursday morning, we reached the trailhead for our next 14er adventure. This time, we had two more climbers–Nathan and Christopher. Our first goal was Mount Shavano, followed by Mount Tabeguache (pronounced Ta-ba-wash) for all except Dad and Mom.

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We saw dawn breaking across the valley, and a flock of mountain sheep springing down the mountainside. We left the treeline after seven as we came to the ascent to the saddle and broke into several different groups, everyone going whatever pace they could. The climb was steep, causing us to take breaks at different points. The family is good at motivating each other, and often you’ll hear an encouraging comment. If one person is struggling, the other will ask if he needs a break and patiently wait while the person recovers and is ready to press forward.

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Jesse reached Shavano’s summit first, and with amazing energy, he went back down to offer to carry Dad and Mom’s packs the rest of the way. After everyone summited Shavano, we grabbed a family picture, and the eight Maxwell children began the 1 mile traverse to Tabeguache, while Dad and Mom waited on Shavano.

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To help you gain perspective, I’ve circled some in our climbing group.

Going to Tabeguache was difficult. First, we climbed over rock fields, slowly making our way down 600 feet to a dip in between the mountains. Then, we faced a somewhat daunting ascent 500 feet. We enjoyed a little time on the summit before tackling the route back to Shavano. Then, we made our final descent to the trail head. Often, on a 14er, we’ll meet someone who is by himself. I can’t imagine doing it alone; I love company and encouragement!

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Christopher was a great encouragement to me, and the only reason I made the second summit. He could have gone way faster, but he stayed near me. Again, notice those circles. What a distance we had to climb! The uppermost circle group wasn’t even at the summit yet.

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Anna signed the registry.

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All eight Maxwell children!

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Coming down was an interesting experience.

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Nathan was my encouragement coming down, and we saw mountain goats. Wow!
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We saw many trees that were laid over. We assume a major storm went through at some point.

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We missed the little ones and Melanie and Anna Marie, but they gave us a great “welcome home” when we arrived back at the cabin. Anna Marie prepared a delicious “refueling” meal, which we enjoyed.

Climbing can be likened to our spiritual journey.

Sometimes as you climb, you gasp for breath, your legs burn, and you pause to catch your breath. Spiritually, we must remember that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Sometimes the incline seems too steep to the summit, and you don’t know how you will make it. But, you press on, looking for the next rock cairn (pile of rocks) which marks the path. Spiritually, we must be continually looking to God’s Word to guide us: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105).

When you reach the top, you realize the climb was worth it. The views are breathtaking! Spiritually, we can remember that we “… press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14).

“I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”
Psalms 116:9

Mount Jones

We decided to climb Mt. Jones Tuesday (a 13er), allowing Wednesday as a rest day before the 14er adventure.

The first part wasn’t too hard, just steady climbing, picking one’s way along the rocky path. We split into three groups near the base of the mountain. The younger decided to tackle it straight up, going two different routes, while Dad, Mom, and I preferred to follow the path and take the saddle over.

Thank you to Mary for selecting the pictures for this post. We missed John, who had to stay back due to a work project.

Joyfully His,
Sarah
PS – I can’t wait to share our 14er adventure!

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Mount Jones
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Time to split up.

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The views from the top are breathtaking.

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Don’t you love those shadows on the mountains?

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Ptarmigan Lake.

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On our way back, we stopped at a lake, because we saw Christopher, Anna Marie, John (done with work for the moment) and Joshua. Joshua was enjoying throwing little rocks into the water.

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death.”

Philippians 3:10

Little, Furry, and Fast

Our time is drawing to a close, but I have a number of posts still to share of what we’ve been doing. I can’t wait to share about our 14er adventure yesterday, and yes, we did summit, and most of us summited two 14ers. More on that later.

Feeding chipmunks is always a highlight for the little ones, and the one-year-olds especially were excited this year. It amazes me what simple things bring a smile to their faces!

Serving my Lord,
Sarah

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All Christina wanted to do was catch one, and she came close!

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I meandered over to the bed and breakfast and ended up receiving a tour. The hostess’ husband built the place over a period of 10 years with reclaimed materials. It was amazing!

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Joshua gets this silly grin and a sparkle in his eyes. It’s so cute.

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After the chipmunks, we found a little place we could picnic beside a stream.

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“Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous:
for praise is comely for the upright.”
Psalms 33:1

A Quick Update

Hi y’all! Things are going great here in Colorado. We’ve been enjoying the addition of my brothers’ families. I don’t have time to do a full update, but I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the other day. We’re about to embark on another big 14er. I’ll share more pictures and a report later.

Joyfully His,
Sarah

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“The pastures are clothed with flocks;
the valleys also are covered over with corn;
they shout for joy, they also sing.”
Psalms 65:13

“The Creator of the Ends of the Earth”

We took a quiet day after our 14er, and then we went back to hiking on Friday and Saturday. I can’t quite describe the beauty and peacefulness of God’s creation as we hike. The stunningly rugged mountains, bubbling crystal-clear streams, pretty wildflowers, stately aspen trees–all are reminders of their awesome Creator. It is a joy to soak in God’s majesty!

Joyfully His,
Sarah

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that
the everlasting God, the LORD,
the Creator of the
ends of the earth,
fainteth not, neither is weary?
there is no searching of his understanding.”

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Jesse has become very proficient at being able to point out mountains.
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What a view!

“He giveth power to the faint; and to
them that have no might he increaseth strength.”

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If you look very closely, you’ll see the five youngest walking along the path. They sometimes take longer at a viewpoint and catch up to those of us who need a bit more time to make it to the next destination.
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This was such a lovely place to eat our lunch, perched on the edge of a mountain top. This is where my Gorillapod and timer come in handy. 😉

“Even the youths shall faint and be
weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall:”

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Jesse enjoys his waterproof boots.

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We discovered an area that had incredible echos!

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“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31

Mt. Yale, A Perfect 14er

3:45 am: We wake up (and wish Mary a happy birthday). We have personal Bible time, prayer, and eat a quick breakfast. We packed our CamelBaks the night before, so that part is set.

5:14: We reach the trailhead. Piling out of the van, we don our CamelBaks. Those who have headlamps put them on, and others use flashlights. The moon is gorgeous, but it won’t give us enough light on the tree-shrouded trail. We fall into a line and begin up the trail. We can hear the steady crunch of our hiking shoes making contact with the ground. There were other vehicles at the trailhead, but we don’t see anyone for over two hours. (BTW–we stayed on Central Time, so it was actually an hour earlier Mountain time).

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7:00: Headlamps and flashlights are no longer needed.

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7:50: The summit of Mt. Yale is clearly visible. It is exciting after only 2 1/2 hours to see the summit so clearly. We trek along the trail. Sometimes it’s steep, and we take breaks to catch our breath. Occasionally a reminder is passed along to drink water. Those Camelbaks are so handy!

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Distances are very deceiving. The summit in the above picture is over a mile away. At this distance, you can not discern someone on the top.

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8:22: We take breaks as needed to catch our breath and grab drinks from our Camelbaks. It’s very important to stay well-hydrated on such an intense climb.

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It is about this point that John tells us this is the tough part. We climb steadily, taking breaks as needed and enjoy the views.

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9:02: We’re getting close to the saddle, our final ascent to the top. The path is great to follow. Yes, it is still chilly at this point since the sun is on the other side of the mountain.

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Walking sticks are a huge help to me. 😉

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9:02: John, who has led our trek so far, is the first to reach the saddle.

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9:05: It’s gorgeous on the saddle. We take a break, and then we split into three groups. Jesse and John take the lead, with Joseph, Mary, and Anna next, and Dad, Mom, and I taking up the rear.

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9:23: Jesse is the first person of the day to summit Mt. Yale (out of probably 23-25 people)! Congratulations, Jesse!

IMG_10749:28: Dad, Mom, and I work our way along the boulders. Mom is a great trooper! One thing I like about this 14er are the solid rocks! Sometimes rocks can be loose, and you have to carefully make sure it’s solid before trusting it. With Mt. Yale, this is generally not the case.

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9:42: Still working along the boulders.

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9:45: I’m really enjoying this climb!

10:00: We have all summited. Praise Jesus! The view is gorgeous, stunning, and amazing. We spend the next hour on the summit enjoying the views, eating lunch, taking pictures, and exclaiming about the incredible weather.

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The birthday girl!

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We are grateful for some fellow hikers taking our family picture.

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IMG_1146 11:00: The descent begins!

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As Joseph, Anna, Mary, and I climb over some boulders, we meet another group of hikers. One of the guys comments to us, “I’ve never seen someone mountaineer in a skirt! That’s cool!” Another of his buddies adds, “I like your mountain skirt.”

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11:34:  At the saddle, we meet two ladies. One has summited almost all of the 14ers, except for one, and she is bringing her friend on her first. When we comment that it is Mary’s birthday, we find out her friend’s birthday is the next day! We grab a picture of the birthday girls.

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We really enjoy talking to hikers as we go along.

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12:26 p.m.: My awesome younger brothers and sisters.

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12:53: These badger-type little guys are so cute. Talk about a view!

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1:07: We arrive back in the treeline. Now we start seeing scenery we had missed in the dark.

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2:06: About a half hour ago, we heard our first rumble of thunder. It’s important to summit a 14er as soon as possible due to afternoon thunderstorms. We are glad we are off the summit. It sprinkles a bit, but never pours.

3:00: All the Maxwells have finished the hike. Our Mt. Yale adventure is almost 10 hours (including our time on the summit).

“Thy righteousness is like the great mountains;
thy judgments are a great deep:
O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!
therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings”
Psalms 36:6-7