Oct 16, 2017

Chasing the Sun

10/16/2017 — cori
Yesterday we took a 2 1/2 hour drive to go hike in Vail, Colorado. We were prepared to spend the whole day up in the mountains taking in all the beauty. When we got there we were super surprised to still find some fall color left. 

The trail we hiked was called Booth Falls Trail. It has a 1390 foot elevation gain. Our calves felt each and every foot. There was lots of huffing and puffing going on. As you can see, it was a wee bit cold to start off the day. I think it was in the 30s but projected to reach the low 60s. We failed to take into account the shady side of the mountain. That's the side we were mostly hiking. Let's just say it was much colder than the 30s. As we were traversing ever farther up the mountain we kept telling the kids, "Look, right around the bend, I bet the sun is over there. Let's keep going until we reach the sun." 

What a gift! The sun was at the perfect angle to make this tree look like it's glowing against the backdrop of the mountains behind it.

Even though it was colder than we anticipated during our morning hike, it allowed us two cool things: an almost empty trail and beautiful lighting for pictures.

I literally gasped in awe when we came upon this grove of Aspens. The yellow strip of leaves in the center made this section of the Aspen forest look like something from a fairy tale.

I think this is Chuck's rule: "If there is a big rock on our hike, I must climb it." It doesn't look like a huge boulder from the picture...but it was. And when you're trying to climb with cold, numb hands on a rock that feels as cold as steel, it adds to the challenge.

My traveling buddies.

Walking into this part of the pine forest was a little foreboding. Definitely no sun back here. We also thought this would be a prime spot for some bears to be hiding. The sign at the start of the hike warned us of bears in the area. We just kept talking real loud the entire time and I believe that is what saved us from any bear encounters. We're still not sure if we're happy or sad about that fact.

The other side of the dark forest led to the whimsical, white, bright opening of another Aspen grove.

Finally! We found the sun. Here my people are basking in it's warmth. I think we're all part reptilian.

Since it was too cold to hammock on our fist hike, we promised the kids we'd hammock on the second hike after lunch. We ate our picnic lunch and then headed over to Frisco, CO for our second hike of the day. Thankfully, it warmed up considerably. This was the view I had from my hammock.

Hammock positioning is of utmost importance. Apparently, everyone wants to be next to me. Chuck and I were able to find a spot close together....until the kids invaded.

Our serene, romantic little setting was turned upside down by these crazy kids. I think Chloe changed the location of her hammock at least 4 times. They weren't happy until they were all snuggled right next to us - literally.

Bennett was so close he was resting his foot in my hammock. Chloe was so close to Chuck she was laying her head on his shoulder. I think we need to have a talk about hammock etiquette with these jokers.

One happy, cozy, snuggly, warm family. Perfect way to end a day of hiking.

The view we were treated to on the way back to car from our last hike. Ample sun and warmth - just the way we like it! 

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