Sunday, August 28, 2011

August Hikes 2011

Saturday, August 20: Lees Peak
Rick's hiking companions
The "chute" to the top of Lees
     Rick took off this morning to climb Lees Peak in the Anthony basin.  It was a beautiful day on the mountain, and while his wife and son didn't accompany him, a herd of mountain goats led him for much of the way to the summit of the peak!  He got some great pictures of his escorts.  
Lakes Basin from top of Lees

Friday, August 26:  Copper Creek Falls
See pictures from these hikes HERE
     Rick worked hard during the three days of teacher inservice this week so we could take off on Friday for a hike together.  Since we hadn't been up to Boulder Park all summer and Rick wanted to do a little fishing anyway, I suggested the 5.5 mile round trip hike to Copper Creek Falls and then fishing at Two Color Campground on Eagle Creek.  Whatever we did - we had to get out of the valley and the forecasted 95-98 degrees!  It was warm enough up in the mountains!
Rick and Ging in front of Copper Creek Falls
     It is always amazing when we get up to Boulder Park to remember our first visit to the area shortly after we were married.  Rick bought me a cup of coffee at the Boulder Park lodge!  There were cabins all over the place.  And then the big landslide came, the river flooded, and the lease for the lodge ran out.  Now you can barely see the clearings where the buildings once stood.  But the scar on the hillside from the landslide is still VERY evident!   
     It is late in the year to make this wonderful wildflower hike, but we still are treated to a few hardy survivors of the summer: paintbrush, purple asters, cow parsnip, a few monkeyflowers along creeks, mariposa lilies by Copper Creek Falls, mountain bluebells, larkspur, pussytoes, yarrow, and fields of what I think is horsemint.  We also pass evidence of several fierce avalanches in recent winters: debris, broken trees, etc.  
Meadow areas as you approach Copper Cr Falls
     The trail is busy!  We pass several groups heading OUT from time spent up at Eagle Lake or Lookingglass, etc.  And we pass hikers and backpackers heading IN for the weekend.  It is fun to see families out hiking!  
    Once at Copper Creek and the lower falls, we decide to hike UP the cliffs as I have never been to the top (and you can't see it from the bottom!)  It is a good little climb, but worth it.  We finally arrive at a narrow little draw with deep pools and small cascades - the lull before the water pours over the edge with a flurry!  A good amount of water in the face helps cool us down!  
Rick cools off fishing in Eagle Creek
    On our way back down from the top, we stop to take a picture.  We opted NOT to bring the big gorilla pod tripod, so it takes a bit of a balancing act on the rocks to get the camera set for a timed picture of both of us!  But it was good we stopped, because as we are getting ready to head on down, I discover huckleberries right under our noses!  Big ones!  I feel like a greedy black bear as I strip the branches clean and rapidly stuff them into my mouth! We left a FEW for others, but thoroughly enjoyed 5-10 minutes of feeding!  The berries were the biggest I have ever seen on the east side of the state. 
Ginger enjoying the creek. 
     We hike back on down the trail, the hot summer sun and thoughts of Eagle Creek's cool waters spurring us on!  Once back down at Two Color, Rick heads up stream to fish while I take a book and find a rock in the middle of the creek where I can soak my feet and feel COOL!  Rick is more productive in catching four fish that will feed us for two meals, but I do read a chapter of a book for our fall Bible study!  
     Another great opportunity to enjoy God's creation together and wind up our summer!  

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