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.
“And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.” Psalm 50:6
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Monday morning Jesse, Anna, and Mary left the cabin early. The best way to hike Mount Princeton is to have a 4-WD vehicle, otherwise, you’ll end up with a lot of mileage! With Jesse’s rented Jeep, they drove up to the radio towers and parked. After that, it was a total of 6.4 miles and 3,688 feet of elevation gain.
They enjoyed an awesome morning hiking Princeton, made many memories together as siblings, and they were the first people to summit that day!
Enjoy the pictures.
An illuminate with head-lamp selfie in the dark.
The clouds were spectacular.
I was not with them on this hike, and the picture I posted of Anna and Mary the other day Jesse took. He’s an awesome photographer and has an incredible eye for it.
After the sun came up, the clouds disappeared.
The route was easy to follow.
On the saddle
They made their summit at 7:45 am!
Lots of wind at the top!
Heading back down.
If you look closely, you can see the faint trail line.
Looking back up the ridge.
Jesse and Mary
They walked on a huge rock field.
Jesse and Anna
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
We’ll share on the Mt. Princeton adventure later, but Monday afternoon, we piled into Jesse’s rented Jeep and went to explore an area.
As we drove along the bouncy road (sorry, didn’t get pictures!), I made a comment that this area would be perfect to see wildlife. Literally 2 minutes later, we spotted 2 moose. 🙂 Totally awesome. See if you can find them in the picture below. We stopped and spent time watching.
Here’s a close-up
At the end of the road, we got out and explored up a path and into an area surrounded by mountains. We found ourselves comfy places and enjoyed the sunshine and quiet time.
Checking out the echo
Dad’s favorite mountain is in the background (Jones Mountain). We wanted to climb it this year, but it didn’t work out to keep the Jeep for a day longer. The road is just too rough for the mini-van. Dad takes the mini down some interesting dirt roads, but there is a point when it is too much! 🙂
“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.” Psalm 48:1
Mary and Anna hiking Princeton Monday morning with Jesse
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Psalm 19:1-3
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.