Monday, July 30, 2007

Wet, Wet, WET!

Crestone Lake, Crestone, CO
July 28-29, 2007
What a great and unforgettable weekend! As some of you know, I set out with a couple friends to hike Kit Carson and Challenger Point this past weekend, but what most of you do not know, is that we climbed the wrong mountain! I'm almost embarassed to say, but the trail to Kit Carson and Challenger was very well marked and quite obvious, in fact, and yet, we still missed it! I think our eyes must have been closed, or something! Anyway, despite the fact that we did not end up accomplishing what we had set out to do, it was still a great weekend! Aaron, Matthew and I met Heather at the trailhead at about 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon and by 4pm we were loaded up and ready to go! The plan was to backpack up to a lake on the trail, and camp Saturday and summit Kit Carson and Challenger Point on Sunday. Here's what we did instead...
To be honest, I didn't take too many pictures on the hike up because, well, we ran into a bit of rain. And when I say "a bit", I mean steady rain for at least an hour. And a lot of good my rain jacket did, I was soaked to the bone from head to toe! My rainpack cover, on the other hand, kept my pack and all my gear perfectly dry! Luckily, it wasn't that cold out, as long as we kept moving, which made the hike up relatively enjoyable. The trail was fairly remote and didn't seem to be well traveled which was nice, but that also meant even when it stopped raining, we'd get soaked brushing past the plants and trees along the path, it was great ; ) It was wonderful! I remember at one point, Aaron asked, "Are anyone else's feet going squish squish?" We hiked for a couple hours, trying to follow the directions we had printed out, but it was not matching up with the trail we were on, and it had us pretty confused. We finally made it to a lake, the one we thought was the one we had planned to camp at, but it was not! The map had a picture of a huge waterfall with cliffs, and there were neither. Again, confusion... We ended up deciding to hike down away from the lake to camp and there we started a little fire and after about an hour and a half, we were almost completely dry! Unfortunately, I had also laid my socks out to dry, and you can see to the right, one of them got a little too close! Around the campfire, we talked about what we would bring next time...extra socks, fire starter, rain pants, etc...all things we had left at home, oops!! Above is the view from our campsite of the sunset. You can see the lingering clouds that had unloaded on us just a short time before. Gotta love Colorado in the summer!
So the next day, we woke up with the sun, made a small fire, had some breakfast and started discussing what we were going to do for the day. Would we leave our big packs and continue with our day packs hoping to summit something? Take everything in hopes we find the trail we were supposed to be on, summit and then take that one down? We didn't really know what to do, so we decided to just take our day packs and hope for the best. I think we were tired from hiking up with our big packs already. I know I was ready to shed mine! Anyway, so we hiked back up to the lake and as it was a much clearer and sunnier day, I got some great pictures which you can see below. As I said before, Sunday was a much nicer day and it was far more enjoyable to hike dry than drenched : ) So, there's not much else to tell, but it was definitely a great experience, I love the adventures that hiking can bring. Even though we never made it to the top of a couple 14ers, I found a beautiful, peaceful place that I will love to go back and visit again!

More Pictures

Another view of the South Crestone Lake (below)

Waterfall on the hike down

As the sun came out, all the rain that had come the night before evaporated creating beautiful misty clouds. It was incredible!

Not sure if this peak even has a name, but it sure looks majestic!

Another waterfall on the way down. I missed taking pictures of so much because of the rain!

Drying my feet by the fire

This is the map of the area where we were. We started at the "TH" at the very bottom where it says South Crestone Lake. We should have gone straight to the right to Willow Lake and then to Challenger Pt. and Kit Carson Mtn., but instead went left to S. Crestone Lake. We weren't anywhere close! *sigh* No worries, another adventure for another day!

These were some mountain goats we saw on the drive down.

Here's the sign we totally saw on the way up, and yet still went the wrong way!

Looks like we left just in time...this is the storm that was coming in just as we were leaving...yikes! I'd have hated to be caught in that!!


Heather said...

Well, I've done two hikes with you and they both turned out to be quite the adventures! ;) Despite the rain and the wrong lake, it was still a fun weekend!

Mom said...

Beautiful pics, Mindy - boy, I miss hiking!!But I guess Dad and I will be doing some when we're in Wyoming in a couple of weeks! See you soon!