The next morning, we all got up at a rather early hour to hike in the Rocky Mountains. Mason would have liked to sleep in, but I saw that a storm was coming through, so early morning it was.
The highest I'd ever hiked to was 10,000 ft. Today we were going to be at 11,000. I was glad to have spent time in Denver (5000+ft) to have had a chance to acclimate from our usual 100ft above sea level.
The destination was Dream Lake. I grumbled a bit going up the mountain. It was cold and I, unlike Connor and his family, haven't ever lived through a white winter. Snow is something you drive to and have a day in.
On our way up we saw a Dusky Grouse. It made a mating call at me. Connor said something about me being "taken." On and on we went until we made it to the lake... or so we thought. Other helpful hikers let us know that we were at Nymph Lake. Thanks guys.
The trail was unclear, so the groups who were going on to Dream Lake split up. We wandered to the left. The views were unbeatable.
Turns out we did not take the right trail. Our trail eventually met up with the proper trail: the one with stairs. After slipping around for around an hour, we made it. Dream Lake. The jokes about why Dream Lake was called Dream Lake started to come out: You'll dream about reaching it... etc.
We climbed back down the icy trail much faster that we did going up. I might have crouched down and "skiied" with my shoes down some steep bits. When we reached the bottom, Connor's mum decided she was cold enough and went back to the car. The rest of us went around Bear Lake, which was so white that I didn't realize I had gone all the way around and almost went around a second time. I'm glad Connor noticed that the trail looked familiar again.
The next morning, before going back to the airport, we stopped by the Stanley Hotel. The Stanley Hotel is most famous for being in The Shining... or as Connor pointed out, "It was in Dumb and Dumber!" Yeti couldn't help but take a selfie in front of it.
I'm glad we were able to spend some quality time with part of Connor's family. Vacations that have a bit of adventure in them are my favorite. I hope it isn't long before we are able to join them again.