Sunday, August 21, 2011

Take a Hike

Well, I finally got them organized, our vacation pics. Our trip to Colorado and New Mexico was a great time for our family. Tabitha had a few days off from AC and landscaping and was able to go along with us. We're not sure how many more times we'll head off as the four of us, so it was really nice to have her along.

Colorado Gators was really fun. We happened to be there during their yearly Gator Rodeo. People from all over the country come to wrestle the alligators. They take a three hour course to learn how, then they go in with the owners of the farm and catch gators. This actually serves a purpose. Once an alligator is caught, they are measured and checked for injuries. Then, if needed, they are treated for any injuries they may have. One of the females that was caught while we were there had recently lost a toe, so they took care of that while they had her out of the water. It is not as dangerous as it sounds and in 14 years they have never had a wrestler injured by a gator.

After the gator farm we headed about 30 miles south to the Conejos River area to begin our hike. It was later named The Death March, but I digress. We were headed to Ruybalid Trail and No Name Lake.  2 1/2 miles of switchbacks rising 2,100 feet. To say it was strenuous would be putting it pretty mildly. Then there is another 2.5 miles to the lake! It took 9 hours and at one point we weren't sure if we were ever going to find the lake because the trail map and the guide book didn't match up. But we persevered and had a great night's sleep with no sign of civilization around us except for the occasional jet flying overhead. It was beautiful, tranquil, quite millennial in fact, except for the fact that there were no fish in the lake. There was even a sign at the lake, not anywhere before, that let us know this. We just used the day we spent there to rest and relax. (Yes, 9 hour to hike in and we spent one day.)  Something we all needed even before the hike. The next day we hiked out, in a third of the time, and without rests. While it was much easier coming down, physically it was more difficult in the days that followed. I felt like someone had taken a baseball bat to my calves and hips. I'll have to find a way to train for that.

After we left the trail we headed for our favorite snowboarding spot, Sipapu, NM. This time of year the slopes are covered in green grass and flowers. While we have seen lots of snow fall there in the winter, we got to experience a thunderstorm this time. While not as powerful as the one that had just happened back in Oklahoma, that we had no clue about, it was spectacular. We stayed a couple of days and fished where we could actually see the fish. Just a little more time to relax before we headed home.

By that time we had heard about the storm back home. Jeff's dad had checked on the house for us and only a tree and a few limbs were lost. Nothing happened to the house or shops. For that we were very grateful. It was a great and relaxing, even if exhausting, trip!

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