Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Estes Park, Colorado

It's been over a month since we went hiking through Colorado's gorgeous mountains...but I can still feel the cold, nipping wind slice through my jacket, the burn in my legs as they carried me higher and higher, the crisp mountain air filling my lungs, the fresh scent of pine trees that surrounded me on every side, the stunning view that took any remaining breath that I had left, and the unmistakable sense of God's power and glory. I have never felt so small as I stood, surrounded by God's handiwork! I loved. every. minute. of. it!

We arrived at our hotel Thursday afternoon/evening. Supper was made in a crock pot and left at the hotel room to cook while we headed out to do some shopping. Why you would ever want to shop in Colorado, when you have mountains just waiting for you to climb, is beyond me...but a member of our party was on the lookout for a pair of ski's. Rumor had it that Colorado sometimes would have nice ski's for really cheap at pawn shops/thrift stores, so we gave it a go...but to no avail. We did stumble across a wonderful little ski/snowboarding shop that should rank #1 on customer service:)

While the skiers chatted with the ski experts, Betsy and I gazed longingly at the racks of snowboarding apparel and accessories, not mention the snowboards themselves--some of them are just so darling, but there is definitely a price to be paid for cuteness *smile*:)

The above said ski searcher found a wonderful pair of perfect ski's at the wonderful ski shop. The ski man cut her a great price, but she decided to wait and think about it. Now there just happened to a birthday that weekend, and that birthday just happened to be the same girl that wanted the ski's...so much to her delight we all pooled our money together and the wonderful ski's ended up in the van as a birthday gift! And our shopping trip ended a success!

Our crock pot lasagna was baked to perfection and was quickly consumed. A quick trip to the hotel pool was made to burn off a lot of stored up energy. A quick trip to Coldstone--with a coupon--seemed like a perfect end to the day...but not to every member of the party! Our wonderful idea was denied by the tired driver *sigh*. But it was probably a good decision seeing as though we were getting up at 4:00am to hike.

Four o' clock came early, but we were ready for it! There was long deliberation as to the choice of clothing. Long-sleeve or short, a cute shirt or a practical one? We choose the short sleeve...which was bitterly regretted as the day wore on;)

I just loved this hairstyle on Bekah! And she liked it so much that I ended up doing it several times that weekend!

I did a post just on the gorgeous scenery pictures that were taken on our hike. So I thought on this post I would post mostly people pictures!

Anna's big camera backpack was packed with camera gear...as well as a laptop that was accidentally left in the bag. Another backpack was loaded with water to keep us hydrated!

Having way too much fun!

I had done a little research on the different trails. And I finally was able to pick one that seemed to be a nice steady climb, and would bring us to the top of the mountain!

It was also a horseshoe shape trail that combined two different trail, so that way we wouldn't have to take the same way back down. But when we were supposed to switch trail to begin our descent we had not even broken tree cover yet. So we plunged off trail, following a stream, and began to really hike!!!

Still smiling, Anna?!?

Taking a quick breather...this picture is for my brother, Josh! He loves braids, so I wore them in honor of him! He is a big climber...and would have loved to be out there with us:)

The higher we got meant less oxygen in air, which made for a little harder of a climb. And towards the end we were gaining height really fast!

This picture has a whole story to go with it:)

Aaron was leading the way at this point and turned around to say something to us all. His words were lost in the wind...and I was just about to ask him what he said....but I experienced it for myself.

There were large lumps of grass that were above the ground about a foot. The whiffs of grass hid the deep channels of mud. Basically it was a maze and you couldn't really tell where to put your foot because the grass kinda hid it, and if you guessed wrong your foot/feet would sink into a mud/water mix! It wasn't really that pleasant...trust me I tried it!

Bekah named them the "musical lumps" and was very grateful to be behind me! My hasty actions served as a guide for the rest of the crew and they were able to maneuver them with little difficulty...sorta:)

After quite a while of hiking we finally broke tree cover...and out came the cameras!!

I HIGHLY recommend hiking!!! I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it!

When we decided to go off-trail and get out of the trees we had no idea how long it would take! And as most things go, it took way longer then we expected. Not to mention that the thinner the air got the harder it was.

We had to be in Windsor, CO for the conference by 5 that evening, so we either had to not climb to the top and start heading back, or totally miss the conference and keep climbing. We decided on the first choice and, after taking lots of pictures, we began our descent.

The view cannot be adequately described in words, or with a camera!

Anna had a little remote thing for her camera so we were able to get quite a few group shots!


Now I do have to mention that we weren't exactly the best prepared hiking crew! We kinda forgot that temperatures drop the higher you get, and without trees the wind can be kinda strong!

At one point we actually saw snow! And the little mountain stream had ice on it!
And just a little something I learned--GAP hoodies, however warm they seem, can't quite cut a good mountain breeze/wind:)

Heading back down! It about killed me not to make it to the top...but time would not allow us that luxury.

We did find a little time to stop and fill our water bottles with fresh mountain water...and it was the best water I've ever tasted!

Now this picture also has a story to go with it...but it is quite long and I'm not sure how I would put it into words without making this post way longer then it already is. So you will just have to imagine why Betsy and I had to sit and entertain ourselves for over an hour at the trailhead. I will give you a little hint; cell phones didn't work in the park and communicating with people is kinda hard without them:)

::The group--near the top::
Just one more comment--I. love. hiking!!!

"Who is like You-
majestic in holiness,
awesome in gory,
working wonders?"

"The LORD will reign for ever and ever!"


Anonymous said...

Oh, Anna, you're right. It was sooo much fun and we learned so much. When are we going back?


Mikala said...

I have to admit, hiking is not one of my favorite things to do, but, if you hike in the right places, the view is AMAZING! We got some cool pics when we went hiking in Mt. Lemmon in AZ.

BTW, I LOVE your new header picture!

Mikala said...

I have to admit, hiking is not one of my favorite things to do, but, if you hike in the right places, the view is AMAZING! We got some cool pics when we went hiking in Mt. Lemmon in AZ.

BTW, I LOVE your new header picture!

Mikala said...

Sorry :-) Hit the button twice

Kendra said...

Hi Anna,

I’m Kendra, and me and my friends just started a 3x Design blog. If you want a free custom item, just go here: girlsdesigntime.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

WOW Anna....you outdid yourself on this post!!!! Perfect, amazing, wonderful.....loved your writting style on this post, and loved remeniscing about the most incredible trip ever!!!! God was so good to send us out there this fall!!! My life is forever changed by the unmatched beauty of the Rockies, and the incredible teaching of Ellerslie!!! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for doing this perfectly fun post!!! It captured our time perfectly!!! Btw LOVE your new header!!! ADORABLE doesn't even began to discribe it!!!! The sign w/ your name, and your life verse is just so fun, and creative!!!!

Love you bunches sis!!!!

Charity U said...


I love your new design! It's super cute. (-: And a great post too, btw. We were at Estes park in October of 2008 but stayed in the lower parts. It was COLD! (-:

Bethany said...

Anna! Love the new look of the blog! :) It is so perfectly you.

And I really enjoyed reading more about your time in Colorado. (Oh, and my favorite pic is of you & your braids!! So perfectly beautiful and spunky at the same time :).

Love you, Anna-girl!

Grace said...

Wasn't all my fault we had bad communication! ;)

Addie said...

I would like to hear that story! :)