This is where I live and play.
It all began as a last minute hike up towards Brainard Lake area. Joanne, the Girls and your's truly.
So many of the hikes in the past few weeks have been between 7 and 9,000 feet. Hikes to look for the best of the fall colors. So, a hike up to the Continental Divide seemed a great way to say good bye to summer and hello to fall. It was more like good bye fall and hello early winter.
It was amazingly beautiful.
As soon as we got out of the car, there was snow on the ground. I don't mean a little snow or a dusting. Several inches of snow. It was so peaceful and so quiet. So few people.
The weather was perfect. About 45-50 degrees and sunny. The sun was warm and there was no wind at the start of the trail head. Warm enough to take tons of photos. even goofy photos.
The Girls loved the hike. And the sun helped to keep them warm. I forgot their coats. Usually I pack their coats in case of bad weather. Rhodesians don't have a layer of oil or fat in their coats to protect them from rain or cold wind. I figured I could always wrap them in one of my coats. I always bring extras.
The river was full of Rainbow Trout and it was fun to watch them swimming up stream. Even Kayla took notice.
One of the goals was to reach the lake and take a photo with Kayla in the "Sherpa" hat. All hikes with the Girls, at high elevations, have "the" hat photo.
Goal accomplished. We reached the lake and continued upward. We hiked through several areas of drifts, where the snow was up close to my knees. The Girls didn't like that so much. Joanne had running/hiking shoes on and I, as usual, had on mountaineering boots and gaiters. I hate having my feet cold. It also provides more support for my ankles.
Finally we stopped at a point where it looked like the drifts would become too deep and the wind too strong. back down to the lake we went for the photo shoot.