another of our “let’s ride along and just find a hike” hike. this time we rode up to cool temps in mingus mountain area. our initial thoughts were, we’d just park the truck and walk the 2.0 miles to trail 101
then we got to a trailhead and saw this map. so 102 to 104 to 103 … that looks like about 6 miles. oh, that’s totally doable. note to self: LEARN to read a topo map. learn what all those little lines mean. i’m pretty sure it has something to do with elevation and climbing. lots of climbing!
and off we go. the boys wearing their ruff wear orange vests. they normally stay behind the person in the lead, but it’s nice to be able to see them if they get to run around.
passed a pretty watering hole. in the forests around here, there’s always cattle guards when entering. so there must be cattle roaming, but we’ve never seen any. just their lovely poop and hoof prints
now here’s where the trail starts to get, shall i say … interesting. basically from the turn, #104 went down. down thru a rabbit trail. some nice person had placed lots of cairns to mark the way. otherwise we would have been lost. after a mile or so of pretty decent descending we started to question the decision to make the loop. we had plenty of water, but not appropriate clothing for evening temps and we only had a couple hours left of daylight. surely, we thought, this trail will hurry up and link up to #103. who wants to climb straight up and backtrack. keep going!
about the time i let the boys run ahead, we round the corner and see this! cows! beautiful cows. cows with horns. big horns. wait a minute. these are lady cows with horns, interesting, and babies! tiny babies. sam immediately thought his newly found herding skills were needed. thanks, but no thanks. scout also thought he would act like a cowboy. the boys got leashed up and we pushed the cows up the trail. now this makes for slow hiking too!
just when we thought we were safe from the cows, we ran into more. and more babies. both mom and baby looked great. something about free ranging and the mountain air at 7,500 feet does the body good. we passed on without incident. this time neither of our guys acted like crazy cowboys.