We’re enjoying a quiet day today, after several days of great hikes. I am looking forward to catching you up on what we’ve done!
Sunday we hiked up several miles to a ridge we’ve gone to before. When we arrived at the ridge, we found a beautiful spot and settled to have church. It’s not often that we have so much time to just enjoy the views and sunshine. Singing hymns takes on a new meaning when you’re on the mountain, looking over the forest glades and down lofty mountain grandeur. We each shared what we’ve been reading in our Bible time and what the Lord’s been teaching us through it.
Truly, we’re grateful for this special time away to be in the mountains!
We only saw a total of three hikers, and one of them took our family picture.
Mary, Jesse, Anna, and me
“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:3-4
We arrived at the entrance to Pikes Peak a little after 4PM. The afternoon sunlight with dramatic clouds flowing over the mountain and the gorgeous terrain provided for an amazing drive.
This turned out to be our first “summit” with a gift shop and parking lot! 🙂 We did see a lady hiking up, and we wanted to cheer her on, as hiking Pikes Peak is a great accomplishment.
When we arrived at the top, the clouds obscured our view, but by the time we came out of the gift shop, they had cleared. Grateful to have some amazing views, we grabbed pictures, and then we went to another area that was not the touristy spot, and we watched the clouds roll over the mountain and then over us. An awesome moment of God’s incredible Hand over nature!
Enjoy the pictures!
It was windy and cold!
Love this one!
If you look closely at the above picture, you’ll see Jesse’s shadow. A really incredible moment that happened with the clouds and sun!
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Psalm 19:1
Hi y’all! Just a quick post to share a couple pictures.
Saturday, we stopped for a late lunch/early dinner in Colorado Springs, and after that, Jesse, Anna, Mary, and I decided to go up to Pikes Peak while Dad and Mom took the other vehicle to the cabin. They’d been a few years prior.
We enjoyed Pikes Peak!
“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:9
It’s time I wrap up our Colorado trip. I enjoyed reading y’alls comments on Missouri Mountain.
While the five of us hiked Missouri, Dad and Mom hiked Jones Mountain, which is only 134 feet short of a 14er! Jones is a favorite for us. We accidentally found it one year while hiking to Ptarmigan Lake. We’ve since learned it’s shorter to hike from the other side, but it’s still a tough, hard climb. Especially at the end. It feels straight up since there is no trail! Their hike took about 4 hours. They didn’t stay long on the top because as you can see in the photos there were some clouds building.
Ptarmigan Lake in the valley.
Saturday was our final day. We enjoyed lots of family time, coffee, eating great food, packing up, singing, a family picture (you’ll probably see that at Thanksgiving), and then we girls finished out the evening with some games.
I loved sharing about our time with y’all! Thank you for your enthusiasm!
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
Friday morning came early. On purpose. We needed to leave the cabin at 3am to make the trail by about 4. Missouri Mountain, is right next to Belford and Oxford, which we did last year.
When we arrived at the parking lot, we saw a fair number of vehicles there. So that meant some were already hiking and some camping up the trail. Missouri is about 10 1/2 miles round trip and an elevation gain of 4500′.
Hiking in the dark definitely adds an interesting dimension, and it makes the time go faster. At least it seems that way. And the stories and conversation were really rolling that morning! On this particular trail, we gained a lot of elevation on the first part, and then when we got to the meadow, we had a pleasant break before we hit our final push.
As we left the tree line, we saw headlamps winding up the path to Belford. Occasionally, we could tell that the people were stopping to glance back down into the valley (at us), as we also had headlamps.
Several stream crossings on icy rocks slowed us down a little.
You can see Missouri in the background. It’s to the left of Mary and John. The views at this point were pretty incredible.
Now, we came to the part of steep climbing. You often couldn’t look ahead and see where the path took you, as it was hidden in the rocks. And we were still guessing if Missouri was to our left or right (turns out to the left).
When we got to the ridge, we hit another flat part. Super nice. The ridge wasn’t too hard, but if you don’t care for heights, you won’t want to look at the steep hillside next to the path. Right about now, I began getting altitude sick. I’ve had it before on 14ers, and the symptoms are pretty easy to discern: pounding head, feeling like you’re going to cry (for no reason!), etc. I told the others, and we stopped for me to take Tylenol, rest, and eat and drink.
I recovered (mostly), and we continued to a point.
It’s right there. What you see above. Very loose rock/scree, and it’s steep. But with going very slow, one can make it across.
The guys evaluated routes and coached the girls through that section. At this point, though, I knew my limits, and I decided to stop, even though the summit was in sight. John went up to summit quickly and then came back with me, while Jesse, Anna, and Mary crossed this stretch and spent time on the summit.
You can see John sitting on that rock edge. He also turned out to be a great coach for other hikers, as he knew the best way to get through that loose rock area.
On the way back, John and Jesse gave the girls lessons on coming down scree sections. I, for one, still wasn’t feeling good, so I was doing well to just keep walking.
We had a very sweet time as siblings hiking Missouri Mountain! We love to work together, to encourage each other, and to pursue a goal as a team!
Love, Sarah PS – More later on what Dad and Mom did that day!
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
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.
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
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.