| Dog Days on Pikes
Husband had to go out of town, my 5 yr old was with grandma so I decided I needed to go out and do something for myself. What better feeling than grabbing hold of another 14,000ft peak? I had wanted to complete Pikes in some cool fashion since it had a road that went all the way up, but I couldn‘t think of anything and I would have to say as a lone hiker with some dogs it was a great choice!
I went down Monday evening to camp at Crag‘s, but if you recall in my other trip report with guns and crazy drunk folk, I decided not to relive the deliverence scene. I opted for a hotel room in CO Springs. LaQuinta was nice, the dogs and I got a suite due to a last minute cancellation. Too bad we couldn‘t enjoy it for longer than 8 hours. I love hotel rooms for some reason. Odd, huh? Anyway, my boys and I were out the door of the LaQuinta at 5:30am and headed for the trailhead. We arrived in Divide, CO where Crag‘s is at 6:20 and got ourselves together and on the trail at just after 6:30. I noticed another group that was getting ready to start out as well. I headed up the trail by myself nonetheless and of course came to the junction and had to ask myself which way to I go? No sign, just numbered trails, so I pulled out the route description and figured it out that I had to cross the creek. Since I had actually missed the turn first the large group who were also hiking had gotten in front of me. After finding out I was going the right way I hurried along while also reminding my wild man Walter how to walk on a leash.
The trail all the way through the trees was practically flawless... nice easy gravel with some rocks very strategically placed as steps. It was very pleasant and not hard at all. As I rose above the trees and I didn‘t have to remind my dog how to walk anymore I caught up with the group who I found out to be a CMC group. They were very nice and had a dog with them as well. I eventually passed this group, but spent some quality time chatting with them part of the way up. There is a great saddle they stopped to have a snack at which was just below Devils Playground and when I passed them by. I crossed the road at 8:55am and about 2.5miles into my hike. After the road you have to parrallel it on a trail for a little while and then climb Boulders and Talus to reach the summit. I got some good doggie photos in the rocks. I was amazed by how many people were amazed that I climbed the mountain with my dogs. It is crazy how so many people don‘t know that it is possible or it seems to be out of their realm of activity. It was such an easy hike compared to the other mtns. I think that so many people in CO are so different from the rest of the country. I finally told someone when they looked at me perplexed as to why I climbed it, I said, "it isn‘t that big of a deal when you live here".
I don‘t think people realize either what our bodies can do or that things like hiking to the top of a 14,000 ft mountain are even possible.
After I hung out for a short bit I started back down because the clouds were building fast. As I started leaving I found the CMC group and they said they were going to get a ride back to Devils Playground since the clouds were so ominous. They asked me to come with them and I agreed due to my many experiences with lightning. We jumped in the back of the pickup and headed back to DP and from there I ran back to the trees. I was on top by 10:45 and back at Devils Playground by 12:20. I was back at my car by 1:20, I to stop 3 times for clothing changes. It never did storm, just rain a little. Even so I am glad I wasn‘t in the rocks with those black clouds overhead, I would have had a painc attack. :-) If you are a runner, it is an easy and fun trail to run down.
Here are photos from the day- mostly of the dogs.
Porto potties at Devil‘s Playground- CRAZY!!
a stop at an overlook
looking up at the rest of the route on Pike‘s- about a mile to go.
Tucker in the Talus and Boulders
Summit photo of dogs
The signage at the top
Traffic Jam on the way back to Devils Playground
Dogs trying to catch a quick nap before the run back to the car
View from road
Almost back to trees
Tucker passed out back in car