So the other day Colton and I decided to climb the hill to the west of the ranch. This hill leads to the base of Hoodoo Mountain to our south. It is much, much higher than the hill we climb regularly to the south east. Not to mention much steeper. From our driveway to the top I estimate it to be about a 1/2 mile as the crow flies but, this is not one you want to hike strait up - well, maybe when I am in better shape, but for now we had to take the long rout of zig-zagging our way up. We leave the ranch by going into the pasture directly behind our house. Hang a right at the canal - make sure to stop so Colton can throw about 20 rocks in the canal. We then need to go across a creek - Of course we didn't keep our feet dry even though there was a nice rock path, Colton just doesn't see the point yet.
Next we have to go through two barb-wire gates. I have decided this is strength training, but I managed. Finally we are free to start our climb.
Did I mention this is a much steeper hill? Well, even as we began to zig-zag our way up I could feel it. I was a little worried for Colton but he kept on trucking. About halfway up I needed a break. (And by the way I have Alex strapped to the front of me in the Ergo thus increasing my endurance) I planted Alex and myself on a rock and drank some water. Colton did the same. We took in the view, it was a breathtakingly clear day. I, feeling a little on the lazy side asked Colton if he wanted to go back down. Of course he said to me, " No mama, we need to go to the top." and off he went. This hill basically had three levels. But we finally made it. I could see to the east the hill we normally hike, it was well below us. It was an amazing feeling to be up that high. the view was great as you'll see from the pictures below. From the top we drank in the scent of the immense sage brush pasture and the pine trees surrounding it.
Then in a small grove of Pines I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. Sure enough there was a bunch of Elk, all cows and calves staying cool in the the trees. Still they are as big as horses.
Surprisingly our decent wasn't much easier, because of the steepness, my hamstrings were forced to work as hard going down as my quadriceps worked going up (I'm convinced I should be doing this often the burn was great.)
One thing we did see going down was the beautiful wild flowers. Colton decided we should pick a bunch to give to Mrs. H. so that's what we did, it made the decent much more enjoyable and left me wondering why I hadn't noticed them on the way up? Oh well, following our flower delivery we headed home for a nice snack of fresh raspberry sorbet and a good rest.
What a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
P.s. Thanks to my slave driver child we managed this hike in just over 1 hour. Who needs a personal trainer. I have Colton :o)