Monday, July 23, 2007

Rocky Mountain Hiking

This past week I went on a hiking trip with Kevin, his dad, and their friend Kurt. We had loads of fun experiencing the great outdoors and enjoying God's beautiful creation as well as doing general manly things. In all the trip was 4 days and 3 nights. 21 miles round trip.

The altitude change (from 800 ft in KC to 10,000 ft the first campsite) on the first day was fairly brutal to all of us with a consequence that we had to help one of the guys carrying his pack about half the way. The second day we re-evaluated our plans and did a bit of backtracking.

Our packs weighed in varying amounts from upwards of 50 pounds to the mid 30s. On the trail, you feel every single pound and promise yourself that next time you'll cut off every spare ounce available.

The views all along the trail were splendid with varying amounts of wildlife including squirrels, chipmunks, birds, flowers, streams, mountains, marmots, ducks, and elk. There was no confirmed sighting of large game such as bears or mountain lions but much discussion and action was taken to try to avoid any unpleasant encounters with these hungry denizens of the forest.

On the second day, we got to experience the continental divide at 12,005 feet which is the determining spot for where rivers/streams flow towards the Atlantic or Pacific ocean. In fact, there are a couple streams which start within a few feet of each other yet ultimately wind up in opposite oceans.

Some of the highlight spots in the trip were the various lakes along the way. My very favorite was Odessa Lake which was at our campsite the first evening.
Vicious mosquitoes were ever present throughout the trip and natural lemon scented bug spray was much used and appreciated.

Meals consisted of a variety of things such as Ramen noodles, rice and beans with chicken, bagels with peanut butter for lunch, oatmeal for breakfast, trail mix, and some of the guys brought freeze dried foods which were of differing edibleness.

Sleeping arrangements consisted of tent dwelling which turned out reasonably well. Sleeping pads are essential on the trail and help provide a bit of cushion from the ground. I think the majority of us got increasing amounts of sleep as the trip went on whether from familiarity with surroundings or pure exhaustion.

Our experiences with the park rangers were sundry. Some were helpful and some seemed very intent on keeping the legalistic rules of the road. One such individual whom we'll call Ranger Rex instructed Phil that he couldn't talk to him because he wasn't in the car. Phil got back in the car, we pulled forward 10 feet and Ranger Rex was satisfied that communications could commence. "Safety regulations, you know."

Once above and beyond the day hiker reach, there was not a large quantity of people. Those that we did meet seemed fairly friendly. It was nice to be out in the back country with few people around. One can really feel at peace and relax in the beautiful creation and worshiper the Maker.

Group Picture Before Hitting the Trail

Odessa Lake

Fern Lake

Bierstadt Lake

Looking at Bierstadt Lake



Rocky Trail

Path to Campsite

Camp Site


On the Bridge

Kevin on the Trail

Andrew and Kevin on the Continental Divide

Mountain Flowers

Flowers by Mountain Stream


For more pictures go to

1 comment:

Mandy said...

Looks like you guys had a great time!! Glad you are back safe and sound and weren't in Alpine for the mudslide!
M :)

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