My grandsons have become my favorite hiking partners. They spent the night at our house and we got up early and headed to Grand Mesa. This was Dylan's (youngest) first real hike - we discussed that this was a test if he was ready for hiking with us. Ryan & Garrett had hiked with me several times before. This is a 10 mile hike with about 1500 feet of elevation gain. It would be a true test for him - we all we're hoping he'd do well.
There are two trailheads in case you only want to do half the hike and not the full 10 mile loop. We parked at the Eggleston Lake trail head. From left to right - Ryan, Dylan, Garrett.
It started out as a beautiful day - we watched picas, marmots, and played with camp-robber birds. This is about 3/4 mile up the trail just above Little Eggleston Lake.
Another shot of all of them on up the trail as we begin the rocks. The trail is not technical at all, but does go through lots of rocks.
At the top of the elevation gain, the trail goes up a spine of rock with breathtaking drop-offs on both sides.
We all love the movie Jeremiah Johnson. We had to take what they called the Jeremiah Johnson shots on the cliffs.
Overview of Butts Lake (yes, that's its real name). Wow what a day......though things were about to change.
Snack spot overlooking Butts Lake - lots of crackers and peanut butter, string cheese, jerky, candy bars.....it doesn't get any better.
But, as we were eating our snack I noticed a small pillar of a cloud off to the west. The bottom of the cloud was almost at our elevation level. This was not a good sign, as it was steadily growing. (It reminded me of the story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel. It hadn't rained for 3 years and he was praying for rain. He sent is partner to look off the mountain several times - but no clouds. Finally, one appeared that he described as the size of a man's hand. Elijah said "it's going to pour - we'd better get off this mountain). I told the boys that we might get wet before we got back to the car. I explained that we could possibly hitch a ride back to the car from the trailhead at the end we were approaching. In good-sport form they all agreed we should keep on going.
That cloud mushroomed and soon the sky opened up. We donned our rain coats and tried to enjoy it as best as we could. It rained on us for almost the entire 5 miles back to the car. But, there was very little complaining.....we told stories and sang a song or two and made the best of it.
It was so much fun to see them enjoying themselves in God's great creation. I do believe they have their grandpa's hiking genes!
On the way home they slept off and on. When I thought they were all sawing logs, out of the blue Dylan spoke up and said, "grandpa, did I pass the test?" I had no idea he still was thinking about that. I said, "yes, you passed with flying colors!" In fact you were like a rabbit up there - slow down and give me a break next time. He's been hiking with us ever since. He's been nicknamed Dylrabbit!