Sunday, July 17, 2016

Maroon Bells Backpacking Trip

I was given the chance to go on a backpacking trip with some gals and a few of their kids.  I really wanted to go - even though I was nervous about hiking with adults (I'm used to going at a 5-year-old's pace . . . ).  Then add a 35-pound pack to my back and I was doubly nervous!  I decided to go for it and was working on having people watch my kids while I would be gone.  It wasn't going smoothly at first and so I backed out.  Then things started coming together and so I was back in - even though I still was worried about everything (hiking, leaving the kids, etc.)! 

This is what the back door looked like the night before I was leaving (Oh, I was leaving on a Thursday morning and coming back Saturday night).  I had details, itineraries, phone numbers, dinner, chores, summer homework and such for them on those sheets of paper.  I had two different ladies picking up my girls at 9:30 - one for Thursday and one for Friday.  The boys were going with a different friend on Thursday and then on Friday a young man (soon going on a mission) came over and took them swimming and then they were home for the rest of the afternoon by themselves.  The kids were alone in the mornings for 2-3 hours and they all survived that!  :)  As I said on facebook, it took a village for me to go on this trip!

We left Thursday morning and finally we ready to head out on the trail at 12:30.  Our plan that day was to backpack in 8 1/2 miles to Snowmass Lake (in the Maroon Bells wilderness).  And hike we did!  It was quite tiring!  The other three ladies I went with - though all older - do this type of thing a lot.  So I was just glad to be able to keep up with them and do just fine.  :)  We were all worn out by the time we made it to the lake - it was a challenging hike for sure!  We set-up camp, ate dinner, swatted at the billion of mosquitoes that were around, made a fire to burn our trash, and then went to bed.

I slept in until 8 am on Friday!  It was the most amazing thing.  I mean, I hardly can do that at home, let along while camping.  I was the 2nd person up.  I actually had a good sleep.  We finally got everyone else up (we had 5 teenagers - ranging in ages from 14-18) and ready for our day-trip hike.  We planned to hike to Geneva Lake - a 7-mile round-trip hike, according to the Forest Service.  Well they were wrong and the round-trip hike was actually 11 miles!  Luckily we didn't have to carry our packs that day!  It was an awesome hike, with awesome climbs (so steep!) and awesome views.  The lake was beautiful - but not as gorgeous as Snowmass lake (that lake is amazing!).  We got back to camp in time for dinner and another campfire.  I didn't sleep well that night and was up early.  I had fun watching a bird swim/take a bath in the lake and I got to see two rainbow trout swimming around.

We got all packed up and headed out on Saturday morning.  The hike was a little better as we were going down more than up, but it was still hard - especially after hiking almost 20 miles already.  The trail seemed to go on forever . . . :)  But it was great to be out in the wilderness and fun hanging out with the ladies I went up with.

Okay, on to the pictures:
 This was the log-jam.  Luckily it wasn't too bad and was a fun, little challenge on the hike!  This was about 6-miles in to the hike on Thursday.  Sherri is crossing it - sans backpack as one of her sons came back over and carried it for her.  :)

 Setting up camp . . .  there were 9 of us total.  Fun, fun.

 Snowmass lake - AMAZING.  Isn't it just beautiful!?  It's humongous, too.  I loved the rocks going right in to the lake.
 More of the lake.  Lovely.

 The super-beautiful and super-tall wildflowers.

 This is at the top of the super-high pass we hiked up on Friday morning.  I loved our view!  It was very cool being above timberline.

 This is at the top, looking back the other way at Snowmass lake.  Lovely, indeed.

 The trails with the Maroon Bells in the backdrop.

 Geneva lake - a very quaint and perfect mountain lake.

Oh we were thirsty a lot!  Thank goodness for cool streams and water filters!

 We even got to see this pink mountain goat!  Yes, pink!  It really showed up more pink in real life.  :)  We assume it was pink from rolling in the "maroon" dirt of those mountains.  Crazy cool.  He was knocking rocks down on to our path and so we had to watch out for him!

Here we are again, at the top of the pass.  We had just 2 more miles to go until we were back to camp.  From left to right it is Heather Oman, Amy Gueck, Sherri McBee, and myself.

And today I am as sore as I can be.  But it was totally worth it!


Elder James and Sister Dixie Galbraith said...

It doesn't look fun (ha), but the scenery is just beautiful. Glad you had a nice time! Mom & Dad

erinmalia said...

this is just so cool! i want to do it so bad. probably i would die at that altitude however. :) i didn't realize you had teenagers with you. glad you got to go! oh, i love the "command station" on the door. haha.

Niederfam said...

SERIOUSLY impressive. So glad you got to go........