Yesterday, Chris and I took advantage of the beautiful summer-like weather and hiked another 14er. After some contemplation and planning, number sixteen ended up being La Plata Peak. We tried to wrangle some friends into coming along, but no one took the bait and we ended up enjoying the PERFECT weather all by ourselves.
For once I'll shut up (sorta) and I'll let the pictures tell the story (sorta).
Chris signing into the register. Good thing I left my hang glider at home!
The view of the Sawatch Range was breathtaking the entire day.
The main snack for the day? Homemade banana-nut bread. YUM!
This high meadow was unbelievable. 360 degree views, different in every direction. As close to heaven-on-earth as it gets. Chris and Turbo, being training partners lately while I earn the bacon, seriously kicked my butt all day in the stamina and speed department.
I heart banana bread.
"Did someone say banana bread? I guess I'll wait for you slow humans since you are the keepers of the banana bread."
Chris and pup scrambling up the talus field leading to the part that finally leads to the summit. Most of the rocks were stable, which made it easy. Some were not, which made it interesting.
My boys waiting patiently while I found my way up the talus. Just above this point I felt dumb and clumsy from the altitude. That's the first time I've ever had an issue with altitude, although it wasn't tooooo bad. I felt fine, just felt clumsy. I started quizzing myself on math problems to keep my mind off the scree-slog and took way too long to figure out what 12x12 is. I had even convinced myself, for several hundred yards, that 10x10 was 1000. When I mentioned this to Chris he continued to talk to me and ask me questions. Had it stayed bad or got worse, he would've immediately taken me down. Luckily for both of us, it didn't get worse, and even seemed to improve with some conversation. Perhaps I was not breathing well and talking made me take in more oxygen? Who knows. It was very strange. 10x10 is NOT 1000 and 12x12=144 :D
Summit at last! For being November 1st, it was surprisingly beautiful, windless, and warmish. We met two guys at the top, enjoyed a snack, and then headed back down.
"Where's the banana bread? I'll give you my cutest face if you give me your banana bread!"
As we sat around, we both put on our puffy jackets and stood by the summit stick. Turbo tried to eat it.
Perhaps the greatest part of the hike was Turbo rediscovering the glorious white stuff that falls from the sky. When he saw it all around, he could hardly contain his excitement and rubbed in it every chance he got. Every season it is the same innocent joy: "Hey guys! Remember this stuff? I didn't think it would come back! It's great! Let's roll in it!" We got a video of him flopping around in it like a puppy but it the camera apparently went hay-wire at 14,000 ft and it didn't save. Sad. Another time though. It's classically cute.
More view. I love the view from a mountain when they are dusted with snow. Unfortunately, I didn't snap many more pictures on the way down. My knees hurt to the point of tears some of the time. I really need to find out what is wrong with them and how to fix them. I am very tired of my fun adventures being ruined by pain. That's so not okay.
If you know an Element, it certainly is a far cry from a "high clearance vehicle" as it is basically based off of a car chassis. We made it most of the way down this road though, before pulling off before a big stream crossing. Chris is an unbelievable driver. One day we will get a proper vehicle for these roads. But until then, the E + Chris at the wheel never seems to disappoint.
As I got out to snap the above picture, Turbo decided to get his extremely muddy self onto my seat. As I returned and yelled at him for getting my seat so muddy, he simply looked forward like this like nothing happened, I didn't exist, he was ready to drive home with daddy. Silly, naughty little puppy.
So there you have it. Our sixteenth 14er as a couple, and Turbo's 14th 14er. The day was awesome, the views spectacular, and the company unrivaled.
La Plata in Spanish means silver, but to me, this hike up the 5th highest mountain in Colorado was pure gold.