Monday, August 27, 2012

Places to Go: Camping in Colorado-Part 3

The last post that we will have of this camping trip, I promise. This is was the little hiking that we did that was near our camp grounds. This place is called Zapata Falls, and was one of the most magical things I have ever seen in my life. Well worth the hike! So here goes the story of that great morning and noon time.

We left pretty early, around 9am or 10am. We drove up a very, very long dirt road that bounced us all over the truck. When we finally reached the parking for the trail, this was our view. It is the valley, and it stretches out to where you could see the Sand Dunes. From where we parked it was 1/2 a mile up to the Falls.

So we started hiking, and the trial was pretty much all just up hill. There where many benches you could stop along the way to rest, in case you needed too. The best part was that some of the benches were mostly under shade, which is really nice if you are walking in the dry heat of the sun.

When we got to "the falls", well they weren't what we were expecting. All you could see what a stream, and further back awesome rock formations, that rose up out of the ground. The worst part was that you could hear the falls, but you couldn't see them! Super frustrating. So while walking back everyone decided that we would love to hike up and see the lake, which is where we were hoping to find the falls.

So we started hiking up the steep trail cut into the face of the mountain to go see the lake, in hopes to go see the falls. We didn't see any signs while hiking to the lake about how far we needed to go, or if we were even going in the same direction. We just kept walking.

Just to show you how steep the trails are, that is my nephew at the top of the hill we had to hike up.  

So we kept hiking and moving and looking at some spectacular views if I do say so myself. And than we reached this fork in the road. It now occurs to me that this could really apply to that whole road less traveled thing. And guess which road we took? The one without the tree branches covering it.

Along the hike we saw some very amazing stuff. Like some meadows and fallen trees. My dad expressed his wishes of living up in the mountains around here, and I agreed. It was just magical, and you couldn't help but to think of who else hiked on those trails, whether it was from yesterday or centuries ago. I commented to my dad that I could easily see why Lewis and Clark so loved the wilderness out west. And we kept hiking and hiking and hiking. Stopping to take some cool pictures every now and than.

And guess what? We kept hiking! The ground started to level out, and we started to hear water again. We heard that water for about 15 to 20 minutes. We were so excited! We were getting close to the lake, we hoped.

Nope, it wasn't a lake that we stopped at. But where else could we go? The trail had completly ended, there was no more place to hike, no lake to see. We hiked up the mountain not to see the lake, but to see another stream! We all were bummed out, and figured that the other trail in to fork in our road lead us to the lake. So we sat down, ate, and took some pictures. While we didn't get to go where we wanted, I really enjoyed to unexpectedness of the adventure we went to go see the stream. I didn't feel mad that I didn't get to see the lake at all. However, I still wanted to see the falls. I started thinking... I could hear the falls where the signs said it should be, but not see it. I turned to my dad and said that one the way down we should stop at "the falls" again. He said he would think about it, that he was tired. I explained to him that we should because I was pretty sure the falls where behind the huge rock formations.

So we all finished eating, put our trash in our bags, and started the decent down the mountain. From where we ate, you could see the ledge of the mountain or ridge. That was just so cool to me, that fact the we went all the way up, we were that much closer to the sky. On the way down we kept stopping for more pictures, as well as to pick some of the beautiful flowers there. Surprsingly (not) it took us way less time to go down the mountain rather than up, which is a good thing because the sun was baking us alive, and clouds started to roll in. And it seemed like no time at all and we were near "the falls" again.

I convinced my dad to go with me and his grandson. While we went back up to the stream, a daycare was walking back towards us. All the kids were really excited, and keep exclaiming on how awesome it was. I was right! The falls where behind the giant rocks! So we started to climb all over the rocks like we were Gollum, so our feet wouldn't get wet... Till we gave up and just started to walk in the water. We went around one rock, and the noise went up one notch... but we still couldn't see it. So we kept going till we went around another and...

I think it was well worth it.


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