The last time we were in Grand Lake, Gene, Kevin, and I had hiked to Mount Ida. Gene and I wanted to do it again this year so we came up with a plan. We got up at 5:15 AM and had my dad, who was nice enough to get up that early too, drive us to the trail head. We started hiking at 6:20 AM. That is the earliest hike I have ever been on, but it was worth it.
Sadly, I came unprepared and ended up wearing shorts and only had a light sweatshirt for protection. It was VERY cold up there. I have to be honest, the majority of the hike I was not comfortable. The wind was blowing at us almost the entire time, the sun was hidden most of the way up, and it was just plain old cold. The fact that I wasn’t comfortable makes me sad, because I would have enjoyed the hike way more if I was.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret going up, but I didn’t look around as much as I would have liked to. The times I did look around were breathtaking though, making the cold a little more bearable.
Along the hike we saw elk, marmots, pika, and for the first time, ptarmigan.I always know I’m going to see animals on that hike. Heck, I’m going to see animals any time I enter the National Park.
We got near the top around 9:45 AM I believe, and that’s when I decided to stop. I was just too cold to make it to the top. I hunkered down behind a rock and tried to escape from the wind for a moment. The picture above is the first time I hunkered between some rocks. Gene went off exploring while I stayed and warmed up. That’s also the moment, however, when I saw a goat. I heard a noise and thought it was Gene so I called out to him and realized when I looked around, nope, it wasn’t Gene, but a goat. He started getting closer to me and I wanted Gene to see so I yelled his name, which only cause the goat to run off and Gene to miss it. I’ll know better for next time.
You can see the ptarmigan in the picture above. This one had three or four babies with it, but the babies moved too quickly for me to snap a picture of them. My hands were pretty cold so it was hard to take pictures.
So yeah, I stayed by a rock for thirty minutes while Gene made the final climb to the top. I’m super proud of him and hope to be there with him next time. The hike back took almost as long as going up but we made it down without any storms. My parents met us at the bottom and took us to a nearby lake where Kaitlin and Kevin had set up a picnic. I don’t even remember what we did the rest of the day but I’m pretty sure it was relaxing.
Go to my google + album here to see more pictures from this hike.