pikes peak, part 2

after a decent night's sleep and a fabulous pancake breakfast, we started out toward the top of pike's peak

as you can see, the weather was perfect

there is an A-frame structure right before the timberline.

the view down from the A-frame

the view up from the A-frame

here, we joined up with 2 other hikers, dawn and her father steve.  this was dawn's 13th ascent!

2 more miles!

if inestine could do it 13 times, surely i could make it once!

the cog railway train chugging its way to the top.  it looks MUCH closer than it was!

the cirque.  breathtaking.

steve sees the sign at the summit!

1 more mile!

the last push

the trail from whence we came!

hydrate, talk about it, go UP UP UP

these pictures dawn took really show how steep the "stairs" are

we made it!!  it took us 4 hours from barr camp.  unlike the marathoners, we took the train down!
bottom right - the sheep we saw on the way down.

what an amazing experience.  we've got the bug now.  ready to find another 14er to conquer!


pikes peak, part 1

abbi kept the kids while pat and i climbed pike's peak.  thank you abbi!!!

it was my first 14er (that's what they call mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation - there are 53 such peaks in colorado!)  pat climbed long's peak a long time ago...

the first 3 miles were pretty steep and brutal.  the white signs are usually not there.  the day before was the pikes peak marathon - that's right, people run up to the top then turn around and run back down.  amazing!

the second section of the barr trail is beautiful, much easier, and so peaceful
it took us just over 3 hours to get to the halfway point, barr camp.

we took a little side hike to a rock outcropping about a mile from barr camp

being silly.  bottom right photo is the rock outcropping that we climbed


this is inside barr camp.  the caretakers, neal and teresa, live there year-round (and have since 2005).  pat is sitting in their living room with norbert, the only other camper there that night.  this was his LAST 14er to conquer.  yep, he's done every one of them plus most of the high 13ers.  incredible!

our dinner.  i highly recommend the shepherd's pie;  i recommend the pepper steak with reservations;  i do NOT recommend the banana cream pie.  gross.

to be continued...

abbi's here!

we waited til abbi came to get laurel's preschool haircut.  

isn't it GREAT?!?!  why didn't we do this months ago?

we took abbi on an adventure out to 11 mile canyon
freddy's first little "hike" on his own

abbi loved it too

gonna lay down my burdens...
down by the riverside.





come back soon abbi!


RMNP, part 2


ready for another adventure!
my little hiker.  




the chilly rainy weather messed up our picnic plans, but we still had a fabulous hike
after naps - another walk around the lake.  we love throwing rocks!!!

it was another great day to be a rayner.  :-)

on our last day we did a short hike to adam's falls
lala needed a little pep talk after she fell and scraped her knee, 

...but we made it!

after lunch in grand lake, we walked along the lake. 
the water was SO COLD!

hey good lookin!

time to go home.  we drove back through the park.  i wanted to see a moose so bad!

and we saw TWO!

huge beautiful graceful creatures.  amazing.

we took our time and stopped at some of the scenic overlooks along the way


last stop:  bear lake.  worth the trip.

i love these two wonderful travelers.  i hope they will always love being outside and appreciate the beauty of God's creation.  where will our family summer trip be in 2013????