Sunday, July 15, 2012

(foreward:  I do not have the gift of brevity when it comes to words or pictures on my posts. . .)
We decided to go hiking for 2 reasons:  1.  To fulfill the kids' merit badge requirement and 2.  Because I wanted to!  We had recently gotten a nice topo map and so I started scouring it for hikes.  I found two that looked beautiful, checked it out online, talked to a hiker in our ward (both of these were some of her favorites), and decided to go.  Ben and I were both a little weary because we knew it would be a challenging hike for our kids.  It was 6.6 miles roundtrip, with some good elevation gain of 1,600 feet.  But I really, really wanted to do it.  The lake was suppose to be this amazing blue color and it just looked like some real good hiking.  So we headed out right after breakfast and spent the entire day in the mountains.  It was heavenly:
 The three kids at the trailhead - happy and eager to go!

 Here we are at our first little rest.  The first two miles were full of switchbacks and were a little steep.  But everyone did well and no one complained much.

 A cute little Lucy hiking with her dad.

 The Trash Monsters.  That's what they called themselves.  It sprinkled for just a few minutes on the way up. On the way down we got a good 15-minute rainstorm.  The kids were more-than-happy to put on their fancy rain jackets again!  I think the Trash Monsters made the rain a happy event rather than a discouraging one.  :)

 Lucy was tuckered out from all her hiking!  Pretty beautiful up there!

 A little ways before the lake we got a view of this beautiful waterfall.  It was really impressive.

And here we are at the lake - check out that color!  Turquoise!  It was so incredible and the whole family was just so excited about it and at finally being there!  It took us 3 hours to get to the lake.  It was a cool day because of the partly cloudy skies.  That made it nice for hiking, but at the lake when the sun went behind the clouds it was definitely chilly (we were at about 12,000+ elevation)!  Then the sun would come out and heat us up, then the clouds would cover the sun again and we'd get chilly, etc.  But it's always nice to feel a little chilly in July - loved it!

 We had our lunch right by the lake.  I just had to post this picture because I think it's so funny.  I had just set Lucy on a little rock to sit and eat - well she quickly toppled over.  But I love this because 1.  she held on tightly to her sandwich and never let go and 2.  she didn't even cry.  She's awesome.

 One of my favorite pictures ever.  They are such wonderful sisters!  And cute ones, too.

 Laughing at each other - so sweet!

 Sorry, I just can't get enough of them.  This is what happens when you tell Lucy to "smile."

 Cute Jonas trying to sit among the tall flowers (weeds?) and eat his trail-mix.  The kids had a couple of last requirements to get their hiking merit badge.  They had to do another 5-miler, plus they had to plan and carry their snacks and water.  Each kid had their little backpacks and carried their things in it; not one kid ever complained about it!

 Just two cute girls with their cute father.

 I had Jonas take a picture of me and the wildflowers.  They were something amazing!  Pictures, of course, don't do it justice.

 Throwing rocks - of course!  Again, check out that color.  It was just too beautiful and I was absolutely in love with that lake.

 Sweet Jonas among the flowers.  Whoops, he picked one!

 Ben and I enjoying a rest on a log.  We pretty much rested as long as it took to take the picture.  :)

 Another, "Smile, Lucy" picture.

 The kids had fun exploring this area too.  The water was definitely freezing, though!  This is Miles and Jonas on "the island."

 Oh man - this picture is totally for my mom!  Jonas is doing a peace sign.  Where he got that I have no idea!  But it cracks me up.  My mom has mentioned how all the Japanese just love to flash the peace sign when their pictures are taken - it's true!  So funny that Jonas did this.

 Miles wound always go to a spot and say, "Take my picture, Mom!"  Sometimes I would oblige, a lot of times I wouldn't. . .

 Cute Emmy hiking back down the trail.  She's such an adorable little hiker.  The first 1/2 of the hike down she just told a bunch of silly princess stories.  She would just go on and on, then to the next story, and so on.  One time she told me, "I am just so tired!"  I told her if she stopped talking for a couple of seconds she might be able to catch her breath!  She didn't want to.  The last 1/2 of the hike I carried her down, piggy-back style.  She would yawn, then say, "I am getting more tired!"  30 seconds later she would repeat:  yawn, then "I am getting more tired!"  She said this so much.  It was really cute.  She also did great hiking up - I think I maybe had to piggy-back her for only 1/4 of the hike up.  And she hardly had a complaint - except those few times when she slipped and then would scream how she hated this!  But other than that she was pretty much a super-star of a hiker.  I was super impressed.

 Little Lucy got in a couple hundred feet of hiking.  :)  She's a pretty cute hiker, for sure.  Emmy even let her borrow her walking stick.

And here were are - minus picture-taker Ben - all smiles at the end of our 6.6 mile hike.  I love the cute expressions on all the kid's faces.  They really did such a fabulous job on the hike - I was so pleasantly surprised!   The only time I heard Miles complain was when we were about 10 minutes from the lake - he was ready to stop and eat lunch (we all were!).  But that was pretty much it from him - oh, except for the time, on the way down, when he asked if I would put Emmy down and carry him instead.  NO.  He was great!  And Jonas, too!  He's a horrible whiner, even just at home.  But he really did a super job, too.  He had very minimal complaints on the way up, and then just talked a whole bunch to Ben (about BB guns of course!) on the way down that his mind was taken off the long trek.  It was a very full and a very fun day spent in the wilderness.  Oh yeah.


erinmalia said...

you have FOUR kids! it still amazes me sometimes. i love that one of you with the kids on the log. you look like a kid. ha.

so glad you had a good time. and yes, the lake is beautiful. you'd think there were glaciers nearby!

i {heart} hawkes said...

oooh i loved the lake, wish i were there too. the pics of the sisters are so sweet and you can't beat lucy's smile pics either. so fun!

courtney said...

oh my goodness - i am trying to catch up since we've been out of town. love all the posts! but especially love this one. the lake is an amazing color! and you are right, pictures never do the actual beauty justice. i'm super impressed that your kids hiked that far. i'd like to try my kids on something like that...but hiking in VA just isn't as fun.