Monday, June 11, 2007
Molly and I hiked Lion's Gulch yesterday. I thought it was 3 miles round trip but by the time I got back to the car and looked at my instructions again, discovered it was 3 miles one way. So! We ended up doing an 8 mile hike rather than 4. (We did the meadow loop at the top which was another 2 miles from the meadows.) I didn't feel it until the way down. My feet were really starting to hurt by then. Of course, I hadn't had lunch yet either so my stomach was rumbling. I did take a granola bar and Cliff bar with me so that was good. I didn't take enough water either but I rationed it so that worked out ok. Molly was running circles around me on the way up. In and out of the creek as we crossed it several times. Once we made it to Homestead Meadows where the old homestead cabins (what's left of them) reside, I took some pictures and we continued on to do the loop. The weather was perfect and we saw very few hikers. We ran into some park rangers a couple times (which was reassuring!). I got lost once and had to back track twice but we made it back to the meadows. (Note to self: Pack a compass!) On the way back down, Molly must have sliced one of her pads on her paw so she was limping the 3 miles back to the car. We stopped a couple times so she could rest. She just laid down in the stream. A few times I looked back and she had stopped, wagging her tail at me, like please carry me? Just broke my heart. I can't carry her as she is a 85 pound dog. And the trail was very rocky (which didn't help her paw either I'm sure). I slipped once on the gravel, luckily didn't sprain my ankle. But we made it back to the car. I had to lift Molly into the back of my Pathfinder. She was out the whole way home. I called her name a couple times to make sure she didn't die back there, but she looked up. I got up this morning a little stiff through the ankles. No hyper greeting from Molly. She looked like she was 100 years old the way she was walking. No more 8 mile hikes for Molly. I'll post pictures of Lions Gulch sometime this week. And White Ranch when I find time. Next weekend, I think we will take it easy and do a shorter hike, but at higher altitude. Lions Gulch starts at 7200 ft and climbs to 8500 ft. Here's a blurb on the history of the area from www.coloradojournal.com:
The trail climbs Lions Gulch for three miles to Homestead Meadows, an area where the U.S. Forest Service has preserved the remains of several interesting cabins and other homestead buildings that were built between 1890 and 1920. Most of them were abandoned during the Depression of the 1930s. The loop trails that connect the homesteads are quite level and make for easy walking.