10,000 feet - Upper Cascade Falls

Trip Start Jun 06, 2011
Trip End Jun 05, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Friday, September 16, 2011

So today we're back in the National Forest. We're camping in the Amphitheater campground which is crazy beautiful. After we got everything set up we decided to go for a hike......

1:45 - started the hike at 8,000 feet wearing shorts and t-shirts. Sun is out and it is absolutely gorgeous.
1:48 - sign in at the trail head. This is the first time I've ever done that. I guess it's so they'll know where you were just in case you don't make it out.
2:00 - Pass a couple on the trail that we met the day before. They are on their way down and we visit for a few minutes. They were funny and told good stories.
2:10 - Continue on the trail. The Upper Cascade Falls is only 3 miles from the trail head. I think to myself, this shouldn't be too bad. I used to run 3 miles before work with my sister.
2:30 - Had to go to the bathroom. Not fun in the woods.
2:45 - Stopping along the trail to take pictures - no joke, it so beautiful!
3:00 - Chatting with Erin about the beautiful scenery and thinking we should be close to the falls by now.
3:15 - Stop to take a break to breath. This altitude thing is taking some getting used to. I have no idea how much further and at what elevation we are.
3:17 - Stop to take another breather.
3:20 - Not really talking to Erin anymore - it wastes too much energy.
3:30 - Actually sit down for a minute or two.
3:35 - Take more pictures. We are definately above most of the trees.
3:40 - I think to myself, what if they really do have to come looking for us....
3:45 - Really need a snack but waiting to eat it once we see the falls. Water almost gone.
4:00 - Stop to take another breather. Still don't even hear the falls. We HAVE to be getting close.
4:05 - See birds and sigh a short breath of relief that there really is still oxygen up here.
4:10 - Think to myself, I'm glad I didn't express to Erin the stupid thoughts about the easy 3 miles.
4:15 - Sit down again
4:20 - A cloud is rolling in and the scenery is still crazy gorgeous!
4:25 - We FINALLY hear the falls!
4:30 -  Arrive at the falls and it is soooo worth the hike. It is seriously so beautiful. We take out our snack and enjoy a short break. We're at 10,000 Feet!!
4:45 - It's getting cold and we put on our rain gear. Break is over, time to head back down the mountain.
4:50 - I comment to Erin that I really deserve a shirt or sticker or something that says, "I survived the hike to Upper Cascade Falls."
4:55 -  It starts to sprinkle and we're having to be careful because of the slick rocks but we're making way better time going down.
5:00 - Erin yells at me to stop right where I am!! I turn to look at him and think, this is it. It's a bear and I'm a goner.
5:01 - Sigh a shallow breath of relief that it's only an awesome rainbow.
5:02 - Take pictures of the rainbow and praise God for His promise of not flooding the earth again - especially since we are living in a tent right now.
5:05 - not feeling good about the places on the trail where there were previous land slides.
5:15 - we're making awesome time down the mountain - calves are burning a little.
5:20 - Yup, had to go to the bathroom again. Why not go in the same place as before? Double marking I suppose.
5:25 - We're almost back, I can feel it. I want to run but my legs won't let me. Plus, there are serious rocks everywhere.
5:30 - Since I can breath at a normal rate again I talk to Erin about dinner....Yes, I'm hungry.
5:35 - It has stopped raining but everything is wet.
5:40 - I'm thirsty too. Water has been gone for awhile.
5:45 - Finally make it back to the trailhead - I actually signed the thing again letting them know we made it back okay.
5:48 - Hike is complete. Whew....what a day!

Until next time,

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