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Monday, September 23, 2019

Listen To Your Daddy

Not yet ready to "call it good," not ready to wrap ourselves in a soft, warm quilt of wistful nostalgia while awaiting our heart's last beat, we push against the "hourglass" and boundaries of our Brave New, Septuagenarian World. It's a time to take risks...adventure out and be bold. If not now, when? for at this ripe age, we have less to lose with each passing day...

For today's outing we selected our resident Gas Hog, Petroleous Rex, from the "bull pen." Like us, he's a retired Geezer, and a little past his prime. 

Once upon a time—what now seems like long, long ago— Bobbie and I explored America coast to coast—border to border through Pet Rex's cracked, bug-splattered windshield. It was our post-work wanderlust phase...a time when we set off to turn over a thousand "rocks" in search of someplace new, someplace better, someplace "unfamiliar" to live.
Oh the mistake I almost make
Only to reverse course short of regret and ill-fate
Remembering what my daddy said when he dropped me a line
When it comes to work and retirement, oh son of mine, Where beats what every single time!

As usual, he was right...

The trail to Lake Hope starts right below Bandora Mine's colorful, but toxic, tailings pile

Squeezing through the willows

Breaking free above timberline

These mountains shed worse than a long-haired dog...

Looking back at Sister Peaks

Still some snow at Lake Hope Pass

Looking back from Lake Hope Pass...that's one erie, dark-mood mountain to the right

Looking forward from Lake Hope Pass. I'm not a fan of brown, but this mountain was drop dead gorgeous...  

...as opposed to this "no-name" pile of grey-stone

Lake Hope comes into view

A few flowers left...

San Miguel Peak, a near 14'er at 13,752 ft.

Trout Lake, with (probable) 14'er Wilson above and to the left. We summited that peak in a thunder/lightning storm...back when we were young, pretty, and damn fools.

San Miguel over Hope Lake. The mountains around here just make me drool...

We headed off-trail to a higher ridge that offered a full view of Vermillion Peak. Oh-My-God!

Time for lunch. Just take a minute and study the variations in color...from Competition Orange to Dark Chocolate Cherry... 

Vast moraines flow like rivers from these mountains

Note the soft pinkish "flow"streaking down Vermillion's left shoulder...

...a closer look at the "flow," with that Hersey's Kiss of-a-nub in front.

One last parting shot of Vermillion Peak from our lunch spot...

Bobbie saddles up. I spy a shortcut back to Hope Lake Pass..."Follow me!"

Oops! It's a tad rocky.  I told Bobbie to think of it as a "Senior Agility Test "

Ok, so I lied....another last shot of Vermillion.

Wading through an ankle-breaking morass of rockfall rubble shed by the un-named 13'er above Lake Hope. I wondered how far I would get before breaking both legs and ankles if a bear started chasing me...

Back to "Moody Mountain." That thing gives me the willies for some reason...

This would give me the willies too if we were hiking in Alaska. Old Griz loves to hide in willows...

More signs of fall...

Almost back to Pet Rex.   Busy beavers keep building dams throughout the entire Mineral Creek Valley, creating ponds and lakes that, in places, flood the access road to the various campgrounds and trailheads upstream. The County then has to come in and blow holes in some of the dams to lower water levels.
180 degree Panorama...including 13ers San Miguel Peak, Vermillion Peak and an un-nammed pile of rocks to the far right, also over 13,000 feet.

What a lovely day above timberline!
Peace out,
Your absurdly lucky bloggers, 
mark and bobbie


  1. Ok quit rubbing it in , yes we got that picture long ago......now again another new name to us, Lake Hope Pass and then the lake, wow, will we ever get to see it all? The big surprise was seeing that view of Trout Lake, instantly we new what & where we were viewing and Wilson Mountain, can't wait to get close to her.
    Al says we have seen Vermillion Pk but from over west of Trout lake looking back but she sure didn't look that Purdy from there. Some amazing mountain she is , if Bev Doolittle didn't have a hand in that masterpiece it had to have been God :)
    Were guessing you headed W on So Mineral Crk road to reach this trail head, we drove back aways many yrs ago but got a little nervous and turned around . Always take the dogs for a swim in the creek
    All I can says is Im sorry I didn't get to know your Dad,
    The Tacoma is packed and ready for our 7am departure........see ya soon

  2. Yes, you guys are absurdly lucky! All that blue sky and raw rock looks foreign to me now after so long in the green and gray. Chris


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