Hiking Across the Rockies

Long's Peak Estes Park Colorado

Morning Glory

Long's Peak Estes Park Colorado

The officer waved us on, once he realized we were sober, sane (depending on your definition) , all set to start our epic journey. Within five minutes we arrived at the parking lot at Long’s Mountain. It was dark, cool, and sleepy even though the parking lot was bustling with life at two o’clock in the morning. Gear packed, brain drowsy, and head lamps on snugly, we set off.

Walking in complete darkness is one wild trip, your mind can’t comprehend what lies beyond the dark trees. Each step is greeted with a eery sound deep within  the forest. Around every corner dark figures creep behind twisted trees, sneaking a peek while we press on.

As we ventured on, we came into a vast opening on the mountain side. In complete darkness, one could only make out a dotted snake of headlamps meandering across the trails below. Simply magical, it felt as if we had entered another world, one of mystery and mystical creatures. The higher we climbed the thiner the air got, and the brighter the sky was. The light revealed the shadow of the looming mountain, beaconing us on! ….

…the adventure continues next time!

I wanna thank you all for your continued readership, this is my passion! I love sharing my journeys and photos with all of you, Hope some day to take extended hikes, as well as share my day to day experiences. Stay classy and keep on keeping on!

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Early Birds

…beep…Beep…BEEP…BEEP!

1:00am
-The alarm screamed at us to move our lazy carcass’s from our deep slumber.

FLASH!
-a loud groan escaped my body as a strobe of jarring light blinded my eyes. Not being a morning person, 1:00am is way to early.

The light was then followed by a cacophony of sound coming from my alarm clock.

I fumbled my way through getting dressed and into the car. Soon after we met up with our guide Kaiyote.

In a fog, we continued down the road to the Long’s trail head.

WEE-WOO
Out of nowhere we were greeted by flashing red and blue lights! Busted!…

-Will we ever get to Longs Peak?! Stay tuned!

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Long’s Peak an Endless Journey!

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After a summer of epic hikes, we have finally arrived to our final destination! Long’s Peak, in all of its glory, was shrouded in gold rays as we drove into Estes Park. The sunset was welcoming, almost letting us know that our journey next day was going to go well.

We arrived at our quaint cabin room for the night, and unloaded all of our gear. As I was cleaning up before hitting the hay I noticed a bottle opener hanging on the bathroom door! Well I guess theirs different strokes for different folks…

-the story continues soon! More epic photos are on their way!

Mt. Bierstadt

Trouble on Mount Bierstadt!

Mt. Bierstadt

Mount Bierstadt, what a journey! The scenery was outstanding and breathtaking! Literally breath-taking! I constantly found myself gasping for air, as the oxygen depleted with the increase of elevation. Every step we took to get to the summit seemed to add five to ten pounds of weight to my pack.Spring at Mt. Bierstadt

The views made up for all of it, the painters palette of greens, oranges, blues, and yellows were stunning. Spring finally sprung in the Colorado Rockies and it smelled wonderful.Gold flowers on Mt. Bierstadt

The beauty dramatically changed right around 13,000 feet when a ominous black cloud crept towards the crest, all the while grumbling  at the hundreds of hikers on Bierstadts sides. Within five minutes we were caught in a tremendous thunderstorm. Hail the size of marbles were pummiling us as we raced down hill. The screams of women and children were heard when a crash of lighting touched down fifty feet away from us! Luckily no adventurers were harmed.

Once we reached the basin we tore off our wet clothes and pulled out the “ice chest” for some refreshing beverages and a epic picnic lunch! Though we were happy to have the experience of near death, we learned a very important lesson:

Start early and respect the mountain!

Picnic on Mt. Bierstadt Picnic on Mt. Bierstadt

-Thanks for your continued support. I have been slammed with wonderful job opportunities (thank you God!) , and have had little time to update the blog. I appreciate your avid viewership and will be posting more often again! Thanks!

Mountain Goats on Mt. Bierstadt

Saw these guys on the way down the hill!

Wild Basin, Where the Wild Things Are!

Early Morning Beauty.

Early Morning Beauty.

When was the last time you woke up at 5am (or early for that matter) on a weekend. Especially a holiday weekend, Memorial weekend in fact. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I struggle to get out of bed anytime before 9am on the weekends. I’m a stay a bed, I’m one of the many that suffer from dysania. I struggle waking up in mornings, every day I have multiple alarms screaming at me to wake up. As a photographer this is a very bad habit, and in general its a bad habit. We as humans give our job’s more time than we. Think about it, for most of us we give forty hours a week to our employers. And on the weekends we give ourselves only about thirty two hours for free time. These numbers are very rough, and we can actually shorten our free time on weekends when we sleep in.

Life Flow

Sleeping in isn’t always a bad thing, however you get to miss out on a lot of things. As a photographer the best light is early morning and late evens, when the sun rises and sets. I have learned this the hard way by reaching a peak on many of my hikes, only to have missed the perfect light. This is due mostly to poor planning , or oversleeping. Oh well, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes can be beautiful however.

Whats up! oh is it time for my close up?

Whats up! oh is it time for my close up?

One such beautiful mistake happened to me this past Memorial weekend. As a family, we decided to spend day hiking around Wild Basin, a section of Rocky Mountain National Park. The forests in this part of the park are majestic. Upon arrival of the park, we were greeted by a friendly fox, peacefully soaking in the warm golden rays of sunlight.

Taking a second to kick back and enjoy the scenery.

Taking a second to kick back and enjoy the scenery.

Our journey finally began once we parked the car and adjusted all of our gear. With new pack from REI on, and boots tied up snug, we began our 8-mile trek to the majestic Falls and Lakes strewn about. The morning was cool and overcast, and the trails were muddy and laden with snow in spots. Wet and slippery, only the safest of trails for us! While we were hiking, we ran into other adventures, some less prepared than others. We greeted each with warm welcomes and warnings of the slick paths ahead.

Planning our next route, our fearless leader is deep in thought.

Planning our next route, our fearless leader is deep in thought.

The trails were very mystical, shrouded by tall aspens and pines on either sides, we were forced to trudge threw ankle high runoff streams. At times it became hard to find motivation to journey on. Every turn revealed more muddy and poorly maintained trails. We had to dig deep, and push the pain toward the back of our minds.

This beauty was sunny itself next to the raging rapids!

This beauty was sunny itself next to the raging rapids!

Further, and deeper we went, the road was getting muckier and more technical. Although Beauty surronding us was inspiring, and helped motivate us to press on. With one last turn we had reached our destination! Ouzel Falls, the thunder of the water crushing down on the rocks below was breathtaking. The views were unlike anything ever wrote in a fantasy tale. J.R.R. Tolkien  could’nt touch the beauty we were seeing! God’s hand were present in everything that was surrounding us! It was like Monet’s painting, the colors vibrant, the movement of waving trees, and energy was overwhelming . Words cannot describe the views that we soaked in.

Wonderful scene at the base of Ouzel Falls.

Wonderful scene at the base of Ouzel Falls.

Ouzel Falls

On our journey, we stopped to look at our next big goal. Summiting Long’s Peak, our dream fourteener!

Looking towards next goal! Long's Peak here we come!

Looking towards next goal! Long’s Peak here we come!

The epic crest of Long's Peak

The epic crest of Long’s Peak

Thank you  all for your continued support! I have so much fun sharing life’s journeys with all of you! I plan on making this the summer of the hike! I have a large project going on with Larson’s Ski & Sport, the ski shop that I work at, so that takes up most of my free time. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

If you enjoyed this let me know! Your input is greatly appreciated!