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Colorado 2018 – Granby area in the Mighty Merc. – Day 7

Day 7 saw my folks departing heading back to the St. Louis area. So we loaded up to do a bit more hiking with the kids trying to break up the day a bit knowing that there was another 18 hour car ride ahead of us the next day.
We found a Fox Friend as we were leaving the condo:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

And headed over to St. Mary Lake trail to see the glacier:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

The kids actually managed to hike the whole way up themselves, though it took them awhile. Short legs make for long trips at times, but it beats carrying them everywhere!
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

When we got up to the lake, my boy immediately pulled his shoes off and wanted to play in the water. He quickly changed his tune when he realized how cold it was and decide it was better to throw rocks instead:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

And of course, monkey see, monkey do:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Heading back down the trail with the kids on our backs, we were greeted with the unpleasant sight of my headlights being left on. :Derp: Thankfully, it still cranked right up after sitting with them on for several hours. Yea for worn out motors being easy to turn over!
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Once we were back in the truck, we headed over the Loch Lomond trail to eat lunch by the lake, and then over to Chinn Lake:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Loch Lomond was a pretty drive as nearly all of the Aspens were fully golden:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

We knocked another “must do” off of our list by having a picnic lunch up in the mountains. Finally found a spot that wasn’t really windy so it was a pleasant meal:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

The backdrop was quite beautiful:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

And of course there was more rock chuck’n:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

We grabbed one last photo of the truck and started over to the Chinn Lake area:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

… which was not quite as pretty. The lake/reservoir was incredibly low:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

So we didn’t wind up hanging around that area very long. I aired up the tires back at the trail head and we went back to the condo with a side stop at the Fraser playground to wear the kids out a bit more.
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

There was one more thing to do before packing it in for this vacation. At the condo there is a Gazebo at the top of a “summit” that we have been driving by for a week now. I really wanted to wander up there to see what we could see, so it made sense to grab some sunset photos and to nab one last “summit” before packing everything up to head home the next day.

We felt rather clever telling the kids that there was a playground up there for them (Gazebo), so they took off at full steam. Rather than being disappointed that there wasn’t an actual playground there, they still had fun playing in the “house”
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

That cleverness wore off once I looked back down the hill I just hike up to see that I had left my damn headlights on again:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

So back down the hill to turn them off, and then back up to join the family for sunset.
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

The smoke from the fire was really making things pop:
Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 7 - Thursday &emdash;

Finial thoughts on Day 8

Colorado 2018 – Granby area in the Mighty Merc. – Day 6

Day 6 saw us grabbing breakfast and heading out to hike the trail to Broome Hut on the Second Creek Train (N137) near the divide. The kids (and adults) started out pretty well:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

But it wasn’t long before they wound up in the packs:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

The hut at the top was pretty impressive. I’d really like to stay there one day as I bet it would be cool to see the stars out there at night:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

After getting the kids to sign the book:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

And taking a peek at the small falls nearby (and apparently grabbing no photos of them) we conned the kids in at least partially hiking back down under their own power for a bit. Ahhh the power of candy bribes:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

But it wasn’t long before they were back in the packs:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

After parting ways with my folks, we headed over the divide to have a quick picnic and run over Jones pass. We were hoping to see some mining ruins, but most of the old sites have been reclaimed or cleaned up which kind of sucks:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Top of the Pass:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

The wife found a Marmot friend on the way down:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

The kids woke up from their afternoon nap so we stopped at one of the reclaimed mine sites to wander around a lttle:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

My daughter was having fun picking up every “Sparkle Rock” she could find:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

And would then tell us a story about the rock she found:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

The evening found us back at Grand Lake for dinner and a little evening stroll on the board walks:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

There is a neat little park by the lake where the channel is at. The kids enjoyed wandering around in it and watching the boats go under the bridge:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

It is very dry in this area, so it wasn’t real surprising to see things on fire again once we got back to our condo:
Sara L.: Day 6 - Wednesday &emdash;

On deck, Day 7

Colorado 2018 – Granby area in the Mighty Merc. – Day 5

Day 5 found us kid free for a bit as the kids headed off to a playground with Nana and Papa. So the wife and I had some time to hike a bit further than we usually can with kids strapped to our backs. So we grabbed a quick breakfast and ran up to the town of Grand Lake to grab some sunrise photos:
Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

After that we rolled back into the park to see what we could see, hoping to catch some wildlife early in the morning:
Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

And we did, couple of Moose along the side of the road:
Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

We continued on to the historic site again where there was a large herd of Elk bedded down in the valley. My wife nearly inadvertently had close encounter with an Elk as we wandered around a bit. Even though we started out several acres away from the herd, two bucks started going at it, the less dominant one deiced to turn and burn which put him on a collision course with my wife. Thankfully he saw her before things got intense and stopped short about 30 feet from her.
Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

The Dominant buck:
Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

The one that was headed towards my wife:
Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

So you can see the trail in the background of the above photo, that dude had cut us off during his flight. We wound up just kind of hanging out until he finished eating and mover further off into the park.

Once we got back to the truck, we went over to the North Inlet trail to hike up to the Cascade Falls to do a little longer hike without the kids. (Hey! I found one of my maps!):
Sara L.: Day 1 - Friday &emdash;

The aspens were really popping by this point in our trip:
Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

We had a horse escort for part of the hike:
Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

Sara L.: Day 5 - Tuesday &emdash;

The rest of the day was spent resting at the condo.

Next, Day 6