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A Climb or Two with Friends

Last week I traveled with some guys from different groups at Legacy Church to NM and CO for some hiking and camping.

Goose Lake
We "warmed up" the first day in Red River, NM, Saturday, September 1, by hiking the Goose Creek Trail to Goose Lake and back. That 14.8 mile, about 3,000-foot elevation gain round trip almost did me in for the week, but it was worth it.

The next morning, I preached at the Red River Community House Sunday morning worship service, and then we hiked to Lost Lake, 11,400 feet. We camped there overnight and made the summit of Wheeler Peak, 13,160 feet, Monday morning. It was windy and cold, but did not hamper our efforts.
Wheeler Peak
After we returned to our Lost Lake camp and packed our tents, we descended to Red River and had a delicious meal at Texas Red's and restful evening at the Banks' Cabin up Bitter Creek Road.

We took all day Tuesday, September 4, to travel from Red River, NM, to Grizzly Gulch Campsite outside Lake City, CO, stopping in Creede, CO, for the best fish tacos at Kip's Grill. (We stopped here again on our return trip, too!)

Wednesday, we drove over 4WD roads to the American Basin trail head and made the summit of Handies Peak (14,048 feet) by mid-morning.We returned to our campsite, and enjoyed dinner cooked over a camp fire complete with smores!

Handies' Summit
Thursday, we made an Alpine start in order to make both Redcloud (14,034 ft) and Sunshine (14,001 ft) Peaks. (See the video above for a 360-degree look from the summit.) Jack B and I returned the traditional route and beat the "book time" of 10 hours by 15 minutes. Great for a couple of old guys I'd say. Jim, Jon, and Jason took a more dangerous shortcut and made it down an hour or so sooner.

Friday was the long trip home to the Dallas area, passing through the Texas Panhandle during a dust storm that brought cooler weather to the south.

Grizzly Gulch Campsite
I tweeted earlier that "Accomplishment is a good thing, but community is what you live for." I am proud of our four days of climbing, 45.8 miles hiked, and 12,769 feet of elevation gain, but the real joy of the trip was the time spent with brothers in Christ in God's good creation. Few things match such an experience. Give it a try...