Once we made it to our destination up in the mountains, we had the great fortune of getting excellent hiking path recommendations from an old friend of Byron's who called the area home.
There was one hike specifically, I do not intend on forgetting anytime soon. It was the most rigorous hike I've ever done. And, I know, that's not saying much for most everybody else. But, it's saying plenty for me. My workouts consist of leisure walks and bike rides around town with my 30 pound tot in tow. This hike felt different. Very different.
We drove five miles down a gravel road to reach the trail head. We got to see lots of ranch land where the cows roamed freely around the mountain side forest and meadows. We even had to stop the car to allow for a herd to finish mossying about the road. They drank fresh water that flowed through the streams from the mountain top. The young calves followed behind the mamas. These cows looked so happy! What an idyllic scene it was! Beatrix was tickled by the sight!
45 minutes after turning down the gravely road, we reached the trail head. We hiked for four miles up a 14,000 foot moutain! The trail was magnificent! High meadows, apsen groves, forest...Views surrounding us in every direction. Of course, the photos do no justice, especially since I forgot to switch my lens out and had to use my super duper zoom lens.
I must be honest. I did have a temper tantrum when we were about three quarters up the trail. I was so darn hungry. We were out of water. It had been a very long while since we'd seen another hiker. I told Byron we were sort of crazy doing this with our child. I started thinking about all of the what if's. No cell phone power. No water. Very little food. Our little one. It gets very cold at night. Would anyone know to search for us????
I forgot exactly what he told me, but basically he said he wasn't turning around without reaching the lakes at the top. He said, we could stay put and wait for him. I remember telling him I wasn't going to sit hear and WAIT for him. No way we going our separate ways UP HERE!
I ate a sandwhich. I felt a tiny bit better. We kept on climbing. Five hours after we started the hike, we reached the top to see the pristine, emerald green lake. It was gorgeous, like something out of a nature documentary. We dipped our toes and splashed our faces and bodies. The water was frigid. We refilled our water bottles and treated the water. I felt better hiking back down with water in my possession. It took us 2.5 hours to hike down. This was one of the nights we did not cook on our Coleman stove. We had burgers in town. The cheat was so worth it.