Jaime was in California during a pretty busy work week of mine last week. It's a good thing I brought Annie in to work with me a couple times, because those were late nights burning the midnight oil and she would have gotten pretty antsy had I left her at home during my 15 hour work days... I must say, Annie was a peach all week. She was great at home. She was great at work. Just a total perfect dog and companion.
I did escape before sunset one evening and got one good walkabout around Louisville's good old Davidson Mesa.
The way work was shaping up on Friday I wasn't sure if my weekend plans were going to happen. On top of some big work that doesn't seem to want to complete itself, I've been fighting a cold for almost 3 weeks now. But Saturday was slated to be epic and I wasn't about to miss it. Longs Peak is the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park. A 14,259 ft. summit and 5,000 ft. elevation gain to get there on your own steam. To say this is a "hike" would be like saying Jaws is a fish. Jaws is a fish. A Fish that will eat you if you treat him like a trout, and may eat you even if you treat him like the man-hungry Great White that he is.
After two hours of sleep Friday night I met Alex Kayne and Josh Mantooth for a 2:30 am drive and a 4:00 am hike. I admit, it does start as a hike at about 9,000 ft. By the time you're at 11,000 there's no more trail. By 12,000 it's die-time. But a darn good time.
[Click on the images to see them in full glory.]
The boulder field. Get a glimpse of perspective when you look for the tiny people scattered further down the field:
On the summit:
The narrows on the way back down ("trip and die"):
Here are three photos I took and Alex stitched together into one panorama, taken from the back side of the keyhole:
Longs has a 30% summit success rate. We made it to the top, We couldn't have asked for better weather, and I wasn't one of the average of one people who die on the mountain each year. That's a good day in my book.