Saturday, August 1, 2009

Longs, Horsetooth, Winter Park, Estes, teeth and Movin'!

So my amazingly crazy (more amazing than crazy -- just barely) teaching partner, Lisa, wanted to tackle Longs Peak ( a 14,000 ft.+ peek in northern colorado) this summer and thought I'd be just crazy enough to do it with her. Humm... a chance to hike -- see a sunrise -- climb a tall mountain -- be outside -- hang out for 12+ hours with one of the neatest people I've ever met ... let me think... YUP! I'm IN! :)

We took off at 3 a.m. (so early to be off the summit before afternoon thunderstorms hit) on the morning of the 27th (a year from the whole get-hit-by-a-car-in-Estes deal).
The sunrise was beautiful!

We're headed to the top of the peak in the background. The trail leads to the key hole, a cut in the rock to the very right of the picture.
Heading towards the boulder field, which is about a mile from the key hole.
Here we are eating "brunch" near the boulder field.
The last 1/2 mile or so before the key hole is a hands-and-feet climb up.
We made it!
The view from the key hole is stunning!
We made it to the key hole around 10:00 and decided to turn the corner to the left and continue on to the summit. It's a pretty intense climb when you turn left of the keyhole. The trail scales the backside of the peak, and is marked for hikers by these red and yellow "targets".
Little did I know I was hiking with a gecko:)... we turned the key hole and Lisa took off... while I was slowly choosing each step with care, Lisa was shimmying from target to target like a mountain goat... Billy (goats gruff) I called her...:)
We made it 30 minutes past the key hole when it started to snow... not wanting to risk being above tree line during a thunderstorm, we had decided to turn around (we were probably about 60 minutes of "target climbing" from the top).

14 miles, 5,000 ft. elevation gain, great weather and an awesome friend... Life Is Good! :)
A month of hiking!

Caleb and I also got to hike to the top of Horsetooth with some of my students from last year. Is was a cool, foggy morning, so we didn't get to see much by way of views, but I SO enjoyed hanging out with "my kids" :)!

A few of us on the trail:)
Climbing the "tooth"
Mr. Caleb nappin' while we hike... what a guy!
When Dustin was in Michigan working, Caleb and I took a trip to Winter Park to visit my good college friend, Ali!
It's true, this picture is a little scary-looking... let me explain:)
The little guy has been teething LIKE CRAZY the last few weeks. He's got the 3 on the bottom, the 2 "fangs", and just yesterday the top two FINALLY broke through the skin. He's been a champ, but these front two have clearly caused him a bit of pain... he's fussier than usual, and this past week has struggled falling asleep at nap time and bed time.
I took this picture a few nights ago. After 60 minutes of crying (he pulls himself up in his crib now and has spent the last few days standing and crying when we put him to sleep) he finally fell asleep sitting up... then hunched over:).
Dustin, Caleb and I hiked to Gem Lake in Estes Park, then met up with Jeff, Kelly and Sierra!
Doin' a diaper change at the trail head:)

Gem Lake :)
Playin' at the lake:)
Jeff and Sierra:)

Kelly, Jeff and Sierra:)
After the hike we all went to a picnic ground to cook out... our traditional Minnesota camping meal: meat, veggies and potatoes in foil - cooked over the fire (WITH KETCHUP :) of course!) YUM!
Sierra and Caleb hanging out

Sittin' by the fire

Yup, those are pink shoes... thanks Sierra:)
My big boy in his favorite chair:)
Caleb is 9 months old today. It is SO FUN watching him grow. He's getting pretty good at walkin' with his walker. I told him that a year ago around this time I had a walker too. :)
After his favorite basketball...
New discoveries every day... LOL:)
We're off to Arizona for Kelli and Kevin's wedding this week. We love you two!


Bev said...

What a beautiful view Heather! You guys do such amazing things!! Caleb is going to grow up loving the outdoors - ranger, mountain climber, explorer what is in store for him? I think the sky is the limit ... astronaut? thanks for sharing the pics and videos!
Love ya

Lynn Haanen said...

Wow!! What a climb to the peak! A celebration of health and healing...
Thanks for all of the CUTE pictures and videos. (Can't believe Caleb could actually sleep like that!)

Sans said...

Cute, cute, cute!! Love Longs...isn't it amazing?!? I had to go slow on the way down when I did it...