Sauk Mountain may be my favorite hike. It is short, with great views the entire way, and with only a little effort you get up above the tree line. I’ve hiked it more times than I can count. Sometimes alone, sometimes not. Last Friday we hiked it all together and it was great. The weather was perfect and it wasn’t that crowded (sometimes the parking lot gets so full you have to park down the road a long way from the trailhead).
We took it really, really slowly. The GPS says we averaged 1.08 mph for the trip (that includes the descent). When we stopped at switchback number 10 for lunch we’d already been gone longer than it takes me to hike it alone. But, and somewhat to my amazement, both kids hiked all the way to the top without needing to be carried. They needed some encouragement, but they made it. It took two hours and five minutes, but we made it! Hurray!
Near the summit there was still some snow. This was a huge, exciting thing for the kids. We insisted they not slide around until we were on our way down. Good thing, too. They got so cold they both had a few tears. I think the time in Texas may have softened them up.
The area around the lake was also covered with snow. And the lake itself had more ice in it than I can ever remember. Wesley when he got to the top and looked at the lake and mountains said “Wow! This is so beautiful!”. Hopefully he won’t complain so much before the next hike.
On the way down Jillian did get to ride. This made the descent a lot faster. And for a mere $1 bribe, Wesley walked all the way down to the car. The best $1 I’ve spent in a long time.
We didn’t see any Pikas this trip. But we did see a chipmunk or two (Redmond was furiously flipping over rocks trying to get at them) and several Marmots. This one just stood up the entire time and looked around. He didn’t scurry off until we were 25 feet away.
Like I said, it was a nearly perfect trip. The wildflowers were in bloom, the kids were cooperative and in good spirits and even Redmond was well behaved.
And of course the view was wonderful.
We even got to see the Elk east of Lyman on our way to drop the kids off at my mom’s house. It was a great trip and I can’t wait to do it again next summer.