| Bring BUG SPRAY (east ridge standard)
It was a beautiful summer day, took my 64 year old mother from Louisiana and my pumped up wife. I figured it was the easiest of all the 14ers that my mom could have a shot at it making it.
We were suppose to leave at 4am from Colorado Springs, but due to my wife being on-call and had to go in the hospital from 1-4am, we did not leave until 545 am and got to Twin Lakes right about 830am.
Even though I have a pretty bad arss 2001 4WD 4Runner, I could not cross the pile of boulders right before the small river, about .7 miles to the kiosk / trial head in the description. Had to park just next to the rocks. (After reading on Yotatech, I realized I am just a suburbia idiot who didn't know how to operate by truck, not putting into 2L and locking the differentials or is it unlocking? so confusing...)
We hit the trail ~ 930am, it was wonderful hiking through the aspens, but no one every mentioned biting flies! Not wearing sleeves and having shorts on I was stung, bitten and being eaten alive while waiting for my mom to take breaths every 100 steps. So either be hot in the woods or bring some BUG SPRAYS!
About 1130 am, we barely made through the tree line, realizing we were way past our schedule as my poor mom spent 5 mins hiking and 10 mins resting. So we (my husky, wife and I) had agreed to ditch her at my mom's own request at a nice clearing about 11,500 where there weren't too many flies buzzing around ~ 2 miles into the trail with plenty of water, food, and clothing.
My wife picked up speed quickly and I was trailing her most of the time taking video clips and photos.
We were averaging 2 miles / hr and hit about 13,000 feet and only 2 miles to go & < 1500 feet of elevation to gain, but she got spooked out by some ugly clouds & psyching herself out looking at some sharp bluffs, which we weren't headed to. I think she was just mentally exhausted after not sleeping the night and wanting to make sure my mom was okay hanging out by herself. She turned back around 1230pm. I pressed on and made to the peak with my trusted husky, Maximus, named after The Gladiator ~ 130pm as the cloud thinned out and the view became stunning...
I took about 20 minutes to enjoy the view and started running down to catch up to the 2 most important women in my life. Now my husky was no longer leading the pack but trailing me. Saw lots of marmots going down, did you know they chirped like little birds?
~ 230 pm I caught up with my wife and mom around 1.5 mile trail mark and we got back to the car just before 4pm. My mom was a tough cookie for trying it and my wife was just hard core and a gem in helping my mom. Max the husky now has three 14ers under his collar
PS. If anyone who lives along the Front Ranges especially near Colorado Springs / Castle Rock area and share similar ambition of completing all the 14ers and want to share a ride / overnight trip to conquer some of the Elks and San Juans, PM me!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):