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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Saturday Hike

Yesterday we (Reid, myself, Tater and two new faculty at Adams State who are married, Jared and Renee) set off for the "San Juan Wilderness." The San Juan Mountain Range is the range that makes the western border of the San Luis Valley. We drove to just a few miles north of the New Mexico/Colorado border. Jared and Renee had bought a book on the hiking trails around the Valley and picked the one we hiked randomly as it had multiple mountain lakes along it.
(On our way up the mountain)

The entire hike was about seven miles (three and a half in and the same back out). Seven miles doesn't seem so long, except that we also climbed almost twelve hundred feet, which meant that parts of the hike was switchbacks that were pretty steep. Luckily these were at the very beginning but it did leave me a little panicky thinking "what if this is what the whole hike is like... I can't do this!").

(One of the beautiful meadows we came across)

There were several beautiful meadows along the climb and two beautiful lakes (we ate lunch sitting and looking over the second). Unfortunately when we got to the top lake it began to lightly sprinkle and we then heard thunder. The top of a big hill (or anywhere on a mountain) is not where you want to be when there is a thunderstorm (as we passed many trees along the way that were obviously scorched with lightning). Tater was also not pleased with the thunder. So we headed back down the trail at what would have been a quick pace if Tater wasn't tuckered. There was even a small stretch where I had to pick him up and carry him because he just didn't want to walk any more. I think we may have to work him up to long hikes like that (and me too, as my legs are pretty sore today!).

(Renee, Tater and I on the way back down the path)

We didn't see much wild life (probably because there were four of us, all talking, and a dog). However we did see some chipmunks and the work of lots of animals (see below). The most amazing part to me was that on the entire hike we only came in contact with one other group of hikers (three women and their two dogs). And this is Labor Day weekend on a trail that is advertised in published books. It just shows how remote the landscape that we are living in is!

(A massive beaver dam along the way... a true sign that there was lots of wildlife nearby, even if we didn't see them!)

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Wow! That hike looked wonderful. I am so glad and jealous that you are getting out there and enjoying your scenery! I would have been very sore the next day, and I don't blame Tater one bit, his legs are alot shorter than yours even if he does have four of them.