You may remember that last year, my youngest son and I went on a backpacking trip together over Memorial Day Weekend. If not, see SheppyQuest Lite, Father and Son Backpacking trip Part 1, and Father and Son Backpacking trip Part 2. This year, my wife and older son were gone for the same reason as last year, and we decided to do the same trip.
Like last year, I picked up my little boy right after school. Unlike last year, we were able to just leave straight for the wilderness because I didn't forget my wallet.
Like last year, we drove to the wilderness, and found a little spot along the forest service road in the Haymen Fire burn area to camp the first night. We had fun exploring and getting the campfire ready. We also had a great time telling stories by the campfire.
This year, our first campsite was quite a bit closer to the trail head. We also got a better start in the morning and as a result, we got started almost a full hour earlier than last year. The trail-head parking lot was not nearly as crowded either.
If you compare the trail-head sign from the picture last year to the one above, you will see that they got rid of the old sign and put up a nice new one.
We made much better time than last year's hike. Part of that is that my son is a year older and stronger, but I think a big part of that is the camel back we got him after last year's adventure. I've mentioned it before, but that was a great investment. It really makes a huge difference in the hiking pace. Plus, I don't have to worry about keeping the boy hydrated.
One side-effect, though, is that he had to pee several times. Oh well, at least I knew he was getting enough water.
By 10 AM, we had made it to the general area of our first night's camp. You probably remember the cabin above from last year (or maybe even other blog posts over the years).
Our first choice of camping spots was taken, but we found another good spot among the rocks and pretty close to a little stream.
You may notice that in the picture above that our tent looks different. After our First Family Backpacking Trip last year, I decided that it was time to retire the old backpacking tent and buy a new one. The new one is much nicer, and is significantly lighter.
After setting up camp and eating some lunch, we hiked up towards the old "shaft house". Last year, we never really made it up to that area and I wanted Scooter to see the really awesome rock formations.
The views are absolutely spectacular on this little hike. If you click on the picture above, you can see my boy standing on a huge rock.
Lots of these huge boulders come together to make really cool cave structures. Some of them even make really awesome mazes. Unfortunately, my camera doesn't do justice to the scenery. I suggest if you are in the area that you make this hike sometime to see it for yourself.
And this time, unlike last year, we made it to the old actual "shaft house". All that is left is some machinery. This was basically the spot where they tried to pump concrete through rock into the river in an attempt to damn Goose Creek.
Just past the machinery, we came to an overlook. The spot in the picture below is way up overlooking the creek and massive boulder fields that actually hide the little creek. The area is called "Lost Creek Wilderness" because of the way these boulders completely hide the Goose Creek.
I really do wish I were a better photographer and/or better at descriptive writing, because this spot is just so amazing, and there is no way this blog post comes close to giving it justice. The spot in the picture above is one of my favorite in Colorado, and trust me, that is saying a bunch.
Again, if you get a chance, try to get to this area.
And the picture below sort of shows you how the creek just come right out from under that huge boulder field. Again, it is just awesome. Again, you probably have to see it yourself to really understand how awesome it is.
Once again, like last year, I am going to split this post up into 2 because this is getting a little long and because I am hoping you'll just have to come back to see how the rest of the trip went.
You'll also be glad to know that the Mighty Chicago Blackhawks were able to defeat the evil Detroit Red Wings Friday night even without me. Obviously, I didn't watch the game live, but part of the beauty of living in today's world is that I can DVR things. I was able to watch the game Monday upon our return without having heard the score.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of "Another Father and Son Backpacking Trip". It will probably come out mid-week.
If you have been to this area, or Lost Creek Wilderness, or have another favorite spot to backpack in Colorado ... or even just want to say something, please leave a comment below.