So we hike-biked blackmore today and I would like to share some things I learned. One. it is hard to mountain bike with a heavy milk crate on the back of your bike. Two. It is even harder to bike when the bungy cord hanging off the back of your milk crate gets wrapped up in your back wheel. Three. Leathermans are good. Four. It is hard to mountain bike with a heavy backpack on. Five. It is hard to mountain bike with five-finger shoes on tiny egg-beater pedals. Six. My kids are crazy fit and active and I shudder to think of what they will be doing when they are teenagers and pray to the recreation gods that I can keep up. And that they will carry the heavy packs.
Since we got home from our sailing trip my flip-flop-wearing-peak-bagging fiend, Aaron has been dragging us up every mountain that he can talk us in to. First we attempted to hike Mount Baldy in the Bridgers, a ten mile, five hour trek for fit adults, up crazy steep terrain. The trail basically heads straight up for about 2 1/2 miles where you hit the ridge line and are treated to spectacular views. From there you follow the ridge line all the way to the top of Baldy. Unfortunately, at about four miles in we had to turn back because thunderstorms loomed in the distance. But we made it to the top of what we officially named Mount Eaglet and the Fins.
Next on the list, Sacajawea Peak, the tallest mountain in the Bridgers at just under 10,000 feet. After bumping our way six miles up the super steep road to the parking lot we easily conquered the two miles to the windy top. Again, we had thunderstorms building, literally, from every direction and we had to high-tail it down. On the way down Aaron looks up and says "what's that mommy?" pointing to the clouds. Much to my dismay, there was a long finger reaching down from the storm front. It was definitely time to pick up the pace as we watched it reaching further and further down in a funnel cloud. There were reports the next day of a tornado in the Shields Valley that never touched down.
On a rest day, Aaron talked me into hiking the Triple Tree trail up to the highest point with him while Isaac rested at home with dad after having a cavity filled. We enjoyed a mom and Aaron afternoon discovering new things about this old favorite trail.
Mount Balckmore, a twelve-mile trudge, was his next objective. We decided it might make it easier if we biked the first part of it to make it seem a little shorter. After enjoying a lunch at the lake we set out hiking, taking breaks to play near the stream from time to time, and slowly making our way up. Everyone was getting tired, Aaron had a stomach cramp that he refused to let slow him down, when we finally reached steep wildflower-filled meadows and our energy soared as our hopes lifted at seeing what we thought was the saddle. After switchbacking through these gorgeous meadows it opened up into alpine tundra where we could at last see the real saddle and Mount Blackmore looming above. We pushed until we hit the saddle where Aaron burst into so many "oh my goodnesses" as he took in the stunning view. It was truly, breath-takingly spectacular up there. We stared down into two alpine basins, utterly gorgeous. Isaac kept exclaiming, "man, oh man, I wish daddy were here to see this, because I never want to hike up here again." At this point we had some clouds building and it was late in the day so we decided that we would go to highest point on the saddle instead of Blackmore which was so tantalizingly close. We must have been within a half mile of the summit, but we decided safety was more important than summiting and that the view probably wouldn't be much better than where we were. After soaking up the views for as long as we dared in the ripping wind, we headed down. When we neared the bottom Isaac declared that "he loved this hike because it was so long." I guess it takes him eleven miles to get warmed up.
So Triple Tree was Tuesday, Blackmore was Thursday, Friday was homeschool soccer, moms versus kids, and Saturday was Aaron's early tenth birthday party in which he invited all of is friends to hike Sacajawea Peak with us. Luckily, we are incredibly blessed and have amazing friends who also love to hike, so we set out with seven boys and six parents up Sacajawea for a birthday celebration complete with a cupcake stop and happy birthday sing-a-long along the way. Sunday was Isaac's early twelfth birthday party in which he invited all of his friends to mountain bike South Cottonwood Trail with us. The same group of boys and parents joined us for a hair-raising, lightning-filled bike adventure to celebrate Isaac's birthday. Monday we all collapsed in a heap of jelly as I began to get us ready for our next adventure, Boston via driving Sylvia across the northern United States. These guys are maniacs.
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