Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One down... 52 to go!

U.S. Route 24 is becoming a familiar road, which is a really good thing as it's what takes me into the mountains! Last Saturday I was again traversing on this highway while headed to Mount Quandary. If you look close, you can catch a glimpse of a hot air balloon in the distance.

Mt. Quandary was my second attempt to hike a Colorado fourteener. My first attempt was with Dad last summer. We unfortunately got going too late on Mt. Sherman and a doggone afternoon storm cut the hike short. Despite waking up much too early the entire week preceding my second attempt, I made sure to get an early enough start for Mt. Quandary... I wasn't going to have another failed fourteener go on my record! 

My new friend, Cactus, joined me on my second attempt to hike a fourteener. It turned out to be a glorious day for a hike, as is made obvious by the capacious trail of people winding up the mountain (which is not as obvious to see in this picture).

We found a mountain goat meandering across the path... pretty sure this is the most exciting wildlife I've seen in person!

Success... reaching the summit of my first fourteener!

Since it was only supposed to be 60 down in Breck at noon, I was anticipating it to be pretty chilly up top. But once we separated from the mass of successful hikers (who for some odd reason were hanging out in the windiest and coldest area) it was quite delightful! Nice and sunny and perfectly comfortable with a jacket on. 

A nice view, sunshine, good company, and lavender chocolate made it quite easy to relax in this spot for a couple hours!

On our way down... saw three more goats!