Familiar ground

This past week was so much fun! After Tim, Heidi and Jadelyn left (reluctantly, I might add), we took in some familiar bits of Colorado. Probably our favorite hike in Teller County is to a place called the Crags. Years ago our family camped at the primitive campground where we slept in a tent, pumped water with a hand pump and used a pit toilet but that park is 3 1/2 miles back from the highway on a rough, curvy mountain road so Liberty doesn’t make that jaunt. The new trailhead leaves from the parking lot but we learned last year that the trail begins with some of the steepest climbs of the entire route, so we park and walk through the campground to the old trailhead. There’s no sense in wearing ourselves out before we even get started!

Last year our hiking companions were 11-year-old novices to hiking but this year Ben and Bailey were old hands and we had a great day for a hike. About 5.5 miles round trip, it’s a moderate hike with long stretches of gentle uphill trail through peaceful mountain meadows, often beside a stream.

Last year, we were cold and wet much of this climb but this year it was a lovely, blue sky day, which made scrambling up the rocks much less treacherous.

As always, though, the view from the top was spectacular! You can see the Colorado Springs reservoirs as well as Woodland Park and all the surrounding little towns. When you are at the Crags, you are on the back side of Pike’s Peak and it appears to be just a grassy round dome. We’ve never done it but there is a trail that branches off the trail to the Crags and takes you to the summit of the Peak. It’s 12.1 miles round trip, I think, as opposed to the 5.5 miles we took. According to my iPhone app, we started at 10,463 ft and the summit was 10,705.

We sent summit photos to Heidi and she couldn’t believe I wasn’t yelling at the kids to get away from the edge, the way I would have yelled at her when she was their age. I just told her, they aren’t my kids! Don’t think that was what she wanted to hear!

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