Tag Archives: colorado

Handies Peak

As the sun cast its golden rays, it was a beautiful sight.

To get to the trailhead for the 14er Steve and I could do, Jesse rented a jeep. We left the cabin at 4:15 a.m. and were hiking about 6:30. Because it was a short 14er—5.5 miles—we didn’t need to start hiking in the dark. 

The hike began above the treeline, and we enjoyed several varieties of beautiful wildflowers, especially in the first mile of the hike. 

We also saw a type of bird we hadn’t seen before and haven’t identified. Anyone know what they are (see the picture below)? They were lying among the rocks, and looked so much like the rocks we could hardly discern them, even when they were pointed out right next to us.

You can click into this picture to see it bigger.
Jesse Maxwell
Mary and Anna Maxwell

A little over halfway up, it appeared we could have rain moving in so Anna, Jesse, and Mary took off at a fast pace to summit in case we needed to turn back. Steve and I just continued plodding along. The weather held, and Steve and I summitted as well after three hours of hiking.

After a quick ascent, Anna took this picture of Jesse and Mary.
Steve and me coming up.
Jesse is very knowledgable of the surrounding peaks
The Maxwells on top of Handies Peak

We didn’t stay long on top because of the incoming weather, but long enough to get a few photos and take in the amazing panorama of God’s creation. The others had been there long enough to enjoy the views and get pretty cold with lower temperatures and wind.

Anna found herself a great recliner rock on the way down
Notice how much the light changed by mid-day.

For our week in Colorado, Steve planned progressively more difficult hikes every other day, with a rest day in between, to make sure his body was able to take on a 14er after his stents in March and be as acclimated to the altitude as possible. He did great and was happy to be carrying 30 pounds less body weight up the mountain too! 

If you are wondering where Sarah was for this hike, she was at the cabin working on her next book. She has developed some altitude sickness the past couple of years that make it increasingly unpleasant for her to hike at altitude. So she takes advantage of the 14er hikes to have hours of writing solitude in a writer’s paradise. She’s currently brainstorming and plotting the outline and structure for the sequel to Finding Change.

Sarah walked to a little coffee shop
Enjoying the mountain views and quietness
Jesse with the jeep

While we love 14er hikes, this is our greatest joy: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). Part of those hikes for each of us is praise, worship, and thanksgiving to our glorious Creator.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“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

Colorado Odds and Ends

We had a delightful time in Colorado and arrived home last night. There is something refreshing about leaving your normal routine/work schedule and being away. The mountains truly are a symbol of God’s majesty. Saturday evening, we took our family photo next to a gorgeous mountain stream.

We have more hikes to share about but in the meantime, here are some random pictures.

Love,
Sarah

The little grocery store wasn’t your typical store–but it had most groceries.
The girls brainstorming ideas for their Bible club.
The VRBO cabin we stayed at in Lake City.
Dad grilling for us
On our way out of the mountains, we stopped in the town we normally vacation near. Some of us went for a short little hike after church.
We enjoyed sweet fellowship with our friends outside of Denver.
We helped them with some projects, including cooking.
Jesse working
With our friends, we made desserts with at least one unusual ingredient, and then let our families vote on them.
The brothers cut and served the desserts so that things would stay more anonymous.
Yesterday, on our final leg of the trip, we stopped by friends to share a meal with them.

“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

Two Miles Short of Expectation

We are so grateful to have this time away in the mountains. Since Lake City, Colorado, is all new territory for us, we’re enjoying our exploring.

On Mary’s birthday, we wanted to climb a mountain we can see from our cabin — a 12 or 13er.

We started bright and early and enjoyed our time hiking.

Lots of beautiful aspen

When we got above the treeline, the views were so pretty.

We climbed to this scenic overlook and made some decisions. Based on the time, the looming clouds, and the distance yet to go, we decided not to attain the top. We were about a mile short of getting to the top. 🙂

Dad and Mom

Since we’d taken two vehicles to the trailhead, Jesse took the descent fast, so he could get a half-day of work in. We girls went a little further for an adventure and later caught up with Dad and Mom who headed down.

The clouds continued to build.

As we enjoyed a break (can you spot Anna on a recliner rock?), the storm with lightning began to move in.

The storm added some moisture and the lightning a little drama to the end of the hike but thankfully we were below the tree line.

Anna signing out of the trail log book
FaceTime with Calia and Elissa

We finished with a treat for the birthday girl in town. Happy Birthday!

“I press toward the mark for the prize of
the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:14

Hiking With a Twist

Since we’re in a new area, we’re excited to explore and try new hikes. Monday morning, we set out on a hike to a lake. We soon found we had some unexpected “visitors” — mosquitoes. We became pretty adept at swatting at them and also were thankful for the bug spray Anna brought. Despite the mosquitoes, the terrain and scenery were lovely and the company delightful. After a couple of hours of hiking, we arrived at Thompson Lake, which was a small, marshy body of water. We didn’t stay too long (mosquitoes tend to keep one moving) but soon continued further on the trail for a while. The stately aspen groves were so pretty, and sometimes we could see the little town in the valley where we are staying. Near the beginning of the trail, we walked by a cemetery that actually went up the mountain, with the trail on either side, and into the woods. We’d never seen anything like that before, and some of the graves were quite recent.

Jesse stayed back to work; we’re grateful he can take some time off other times during the week to hike, and we’re grateful for good Wifi.

Love,
Sarah

Anna found the perfect weed for tickling–felt a lot like the mosquitoes 🙂

“And the heavens shall declare his righteousness:
for God is judge himself. Selah.”
Psalm 50:6

Mount Belford, Another Great 14er

Mt. Belford was the first 14er we have done on a Saturday in quite a while, because it can mean a lot of hikers on single wide trails. Since Anna, Jesse, and Mary had a long hike on Thursday (watch for that post Monday!), we wanted to give them a rest day on Friday, and we were leaving on Sunday so that left us Saturday. Sarah stayed back at the cabin to edit her book. 

It took us 1.5 hours to drive to the trailhead from our cabin. The last 3 miles the gravel road had the worst washboard we have been on so we drove slowly through there.

This climb was supposed to be 8 miles with 4500 feet elevation gain. We were ready to hike just as it got light so we didn’t need our headlamps.

We began the hike through a pine forest that leveled out a bit in a beautiful aspen grove. Once we had climbed above the trees, it was switchbacks all the way up the mountain. With so many hiking on Saturday, we could see the steady stream of people making their way up.

We worked and worked for the summit, only to find it was a false summit, and we still had further to go. We enjoyed conversations with several others who were hiking up about our pace.

Not long after starting the switchbacks, Jesse, Anna, and Mary moved ahead to summit as they still had a great amount of energy. Steve and I planned to turn around at noon if we hadn’t yet made it to the top. We summited at 11:20 while the others had been enjoying the views for an hour. Jesse, Anna, and Mary (and Sarah and John) had climbed Mt. Belford before when they did a double 14er of Mt. Belford and Oxford.

Jesse and Mary on Belford

Anna on Belford

Steve and me on the summit

From where we rested and ate lunch on top of Mt. Belford, we could see the path on to Oxford and people on it, but our plan was just Mt. Belford.

The trail over to Oxford.

There were two ways down–the way we had come up and another trail that appeared not to have so many switchbacks and was a mile longer. After some discussion, everyone agreed that Steve and I should go back the shorter way we came and the others should check out the alternate route.

Going down, we spotted them on their trail, and they spotted us on ours. They were much further down, so they again rested while we poked our way down. Downhill is much easier than uphill, but Steve and I take it slowly because of loose rocks on the trail and our weak muscles after the climb up.

This is where we joined up with the other three.

Steve and I thanked the Lord that we could make this longer 14er hike with more elevation gain than the one earlier in the week.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city
of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.”
Psalm 48:1

Mount Sherman, A 14er Family Hike

On Mary’s 22nd birthday (last Tuesday), we left the cabin before dawn and drove to the Leadville area. The weather did not seem promising with heavy clouds and even light rain as we arrived at the trailhead. We’ve yet to have to turn around on a 14er due to weather, but I thought this would be our first because we are very cautious especially concerning thunderstorms. These didn’t look like the thunderstorms that typically come up in the afternoons.

Jesse is our master route guide, and he planned for us to take an alternate (shorter) route up Mt. Sherman. We parked near an old abandoned mine and began our trek, in the mist and cold.

We hiked up a beautiful mountainside with a great trail. The weather changed literally by the minute, and so sometimes we took a break to get our rain gear out and other times we stopped to take it off.

On the ridge, the trail joined a popular route, so we gained a lot of company, which is great. The wind was really strong as we did the final ascent.

Enjoy the pictures and journal below of our hike!

Love,
Sarah
PS – We arrived home Monday afternoon, and I’ll be catching you up on the hikes later!

On the way, we saw a herd of elk!

The dirt road we took up to the trailhead was gorgeous.

These sweet sisters of mine, all ready for the hike.

Hiking up at a steady pace.

Take a break to de-layer. As you can see, it was at an angle not terribly conducive for
one’s Camelbak to stay in one’s possession.

Notice the rain in the upper left coming in. You can see it approaching, and then when you don’t see it
approaching, and you feel wet, well, you know it’s now upon you!

As we reached the ridge, the wind picked up and it began sleeting ice pellets,
which thankfully didn’t last too long.

Now this is looking back down the ridge as the family approaches.

The ridge consisted of lots of rocks, and the wind was really strong, and the temperatures cold.

The summit itself was flat and spacious. A SAMS sister picture (Sarah, Anna, Mary).

Awesome picture of Jesse!

Dad and Mom summit!

Here’s a view back down to the valley we climbed out of. I circled where are vehicles parked.

Time on the summit is spent chatting with others, eating snacks, layering or de-layering depending on the temperature, texting friends and family pictures, and enjoying the views.

You want to know my favorite summit food? Junior Mints!

Dad and Mom

Anna found this wrench-shaped rock.

The views going down were gorgeous and the weather on the ridge pleasant compared to the way up.

But by the time we got to the bottom of the ridge, the weather changed
again, and it was time to layer up again!

Mary and Jesse

Another great rock shape

Hiking down (down to short sleeves!)

Jesse and Mary decided to do their hiker’s duty and build a cairn for the benefit of their fellow hikers. You need the perfect rocks, so they worked to select the right ones.

The finished cairn with its builders.

I’ll let you in on a little code word Anna has coined: recliner rock. Here Anna is enjoying a recliner rock–if you can really picture a rock being comfortable? It has to be the right smoothness and angle to be able to lay back on, and surprisingly enough, she finds herself quite a few recliner rocks on hikes.

Mount Sherman (we think) is about in the middle of this picture.

Enjoying a break at the stream.

A selfie at the end of our hike.

What could be better than to grab a coffee in Leadville? So perfect!
Mary enjoyed a birthday phone call AND a caramel latte 🙂

Jesse took the opportunity for good WiFi to plan Thursday’s hike, Mount of the Holy Cross, which just Mary, Anna, and he did. I can’t wait to share on that one!

Anna took a picture of Mary’s gifts.

We celebrated Mary’s birthday that evening.

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up
for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought
for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!”
Psalm 31:19