Colorado 2017 in the Mighty Merc – Sunday

Sunday morning we started our usual vacation routine of waking up early to catch the sunrise. With the time zone change, the kids were up and running well before daylight so they were happy little troopers willing to help Mom out where they could:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

And I couldn’t pass up this perfect photo op:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

She is pretty good at catching good photos:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

From there we ran down to Tiger Road:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

To the trail head of the North Fork Swan River trail, which we wound to the St. Johns Trail:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

The trail though rated as being moderate really wasn’t bad at all. We later came to find out that often “moderate” just meant that the trail mostly consisted of the trail being laid with softball sized rocks.

Lots of dispersed camping in the lower elevations in the tree line which were making me jealous of the camping opportunities we have in the Midwest.
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Just past a water crossing:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

..the trail got steep in a hurry:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

This little V notch ahead made me appreciate the Full Widths and the crawl box. However, the crawl box did pop out of gear on me halfway up the climb which dumped me into the middle of the notch. Whoops:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Once we got above of the tree line tree line the views stared getting a tad vaster:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

We stopped at one of the FS cabins at the top of the mountain where there were remains from an old mining claim around.
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

These two guys kind of set the tone of the folks we met while banging around on the mountains. That being, the guys in the Yota’s and other off brand vehicles tended to be pretty cool to shoot the breeze with, the guys in the main stream new brand, not so much:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Of course the kids had fun running around the top of the mountain as well:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Turning around away from the cabin, we dropped then climbed a bit following the trail along the ridge:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Stopping to grab a photo here and there:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

We eventually got to the fork in the trail and turned towards Webster Pass to work our way down in elevation:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

We found a nice little place for lunch where the kids quickly made some bird friends:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

I’m always amazed at how much mining stuff is left lying around out here:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

After lunch, we ran up the Santa Fe Peak trail. Lots of Aspens were changing colors as we went through the tree line:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Eventually we broke through the trees and started seeing the peaks:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Then something awesome happened, it snowed! We got to watch the snow blow in for a little bit (just enough to briefly dust everything). It was pretty cool seeing the snow bands move around. Sadly, it didn’t photograph as well as we’d wished:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

At the dead end, we turned around and wandered back down through the snow. Full widths, and a narrow ledge? No problem:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

We wound our way back to Chihuahua Gultch to run a little bit of it before we ran out of daylight. Again, the Aspens looked pretty neat:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

We stopped just past the second water crossing as that was the real spot that the wife wanted to photograph:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

And the kids wanted to throw rocks for a bit:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

We loaded up and rolled back to town for dinner and some rest:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

We did try to catch the sunset, but this is the best we could do:
Sara L.: Sunday &emdash;

Slideshow from the day (Click Me)

Next up.. Monday!

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