Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cousins, Camping, and Climbing

I apologize I totally missed last weeks blog post but it was for good reason.  This last week My brother brought up his whole family to spend a week with us.  I do not miss a lot about Arizona, but the one thing I do really miss is my family.  My brother and I are literally best friends; I cannot think of another person who I can share so much with and have so much fun with.  Likewise, his kids and my kids get along really well.  They did not stop having fun the entire time they were here; they even woke up in the morning talking about the weird stuff the others did in their sleep.
At REI helping me to figure out a sleeping solution

Fun at the Miners Blast in Erie

Gotta love the beenies

More Smores' and Beenies

Pretty easy to say for me the highlight of the whole week was Mike and my hike in the MT. Evans area.  We were supposed to park at Camp rock trail head then hike to Bear Tracks lake but a night or two before we embarked on our adventure we changed plans and decided to try and summit MT. Evans prior to hiking to Bear Tracks Lake.  We met our first surprise, which should not have been a surprise at all, when we found the road to Camp Rock closes every year the day after labor day.  Well the good news that was not an obstacle to stop Mike and I  The bad news, it added files miles to our hike which roughly translates to two hours.  We set off on our trail chatting and enjoying the wilderness when we arrived at Beaver Meadows.  We quickly realized they call it Beaver Meadows due to all of the beavers that reside there.  It was really cool to see all of the beaver dams and trees that were chewed off to be used as building materials.  We were fairly sure we had interrupted a beaver mid gnaw as we found some trees that looked like the act of chewing them to collapse had just been completed.  It was not too far past our entrance to Beaver Meadows that we stumbled across not one, not two, but three young moose!  I have lived here in Colorado for almost five years now and have never seen a moose.  It was a bull and two cows; we think they were young because they did not seem to be full size and the bull's rack was a little smaller; none the less it was truly awesome!
The highest peak on the right is our destination

Beaver Meadows

Our three moose friends

We continued our hike and at the Summit Lake trail head we decided to dump most of our gear as we know no matter what we had to come back to this point before night fall.  With our loads lightened we continued our journey to the top of MT. Evans which was a long and steep climb.  We arrived at the treeline and took a break when we realized we were just a little ways above the location we were supposed to camp that night.  I had read in a forum that Bear Tracks Lake was difficult to reach due to a micro burst that had knocked down a large number of trees, but I had no idea how bad it was.  From where we were sitting we could see thousands of downed trees stretching beyond our field of view.  It was amazing to see the devastation mother nature is capable of.  As we continued the last leg of our hike we realized how easy it was to take the cover of the trees for granted.  Above the tree line there was nothing present to stop or slow the wind; which was hammering us at about 40 Mph and made the temp drop into at least the 30's if not farther.  As we hike we were beaten by a constant wind that we had to struggle against just to keep our footing.  We finally arrived at the road the takes cars to the top of Mt. Evans and due to our exhaustion decide to follow the road rather than scramble to the top directly; while scrambling would have been faster we felt the road was easier walking.  As we walked we began to realize it was about 2:30 and we still had a good hour before reaching the summit.  After some consideration we decided to play it safe and turn back so we would not be hiking in the dark.  We were at about 13,500 ft or so making the decision to turn back a hard one to make; we were right there!  We figured if the road had been open giving us back that first two hours our timing would have been perfect.  Reluctantly, we turned around and headed back to our gear at the Summit Lake trail head.
What the heck is the speed limit the wind turned the sign around

A view from the top (well almost)

We were that close!!!!

When we arrived at our gear we were exhausted; by our calculation using Mike's pedometer and the fact that we had taken 50,000 steps throughout the day; we had hiked roughly 25 miles.  With that much mileage under our belt we opted to stay the night right where we dropped our packed rather than attempt the 8 plus mile hike to get to Bear Tracks Lake.  Yes that means we failed to get to any planned destination all day long, we still felt like we had accomplished a huge amount.  We ate our Ramen noodles and sat around the fire for a while, settling into bed around 8 PM or so.  According to the weather the low has only supposed to be in the mid thirties but the sheet of ice on the small lake we camped next to told us otherwise. 

The creek which gave us water

The small lake we slept by

If you look close you can see the sheet of ice that formed over night


While Mike and I traveled back home from our adventures Danielle and Sarah took the kids to the Broomfield recreation center for its expansive water slide selection.  While I was not there and have no photos the kids had a great time.  Along with that we had a fantastic week of fun and excitement concluding almost every night with smores, popcorn, and movies.  I can't express enough how much fun we had and cannot wait until we get to spend more time with the AZ Heinle 5.

As per the usual our weeks both concluded with soccer.  Weston had a double header last weekend but only attended one of the two games.  I did not go but his team won both matches and apparently Weston stopped several shots as the goalie.  This week his team only tied but it was an awesome match.  Weston let one shot slide, but blocked the rest.  In his defense the shot he let slide was a really good shot made by the opposing teams star player.  Great job Weston you are really coming along in your goalie skills.
Weston watching the ball coming towards him

Weston watching the ball fly past him(Yeah the only pic I took was the one shot he let slide)

Tanner's match last week did not go so hot.  His team got stomped on and Tanner had a few melt downs as the other team continuously scored.  It was a hard game.  This week however, was a very different story.  We had a chat about attitudes and he really listened; his attitude was good despite the 4 or so goals he tried to make totally missing the goal.  In fact, his attitude was so good he followed up those missed goals with four successful goals.  Great job Tanner! It just shows having a good attitude can go a long way.
Tanner, Tanner, Tanner

Just waiting to get in the game

1 comment:

Mike Heinle said...

I have to say that this was a great trip. Disneyland, Yellowstone, and the beach are fun, but getting to spend a week with your family and hiking with my best friend is more rewarding than any other activities that we could have spent our vacation. Miss you guys.