Last Sunday Phil and I took the whole day to try tackling the Bartlett Trail up to south Greenhorn Peak. It’s anywhere from 8-12 miles to the top (depending on what you read and who you talk to), so we didn’t quite make our destination, but we came within spittin’ distance.
It’s not a terribly difficult hike, but it is long and the slope, though not exactly steep, is relentless. We hiked for four hours with only two very short breaks and got within a mile of the peak before we had to turn around. The days are too short to chance pressing on into the afternoon.
We stopped on a high ridge overlooking the plains. There was a forest fire there years ago and the dead trees lay eerily all around, with a few still standing at crazy angles.
It was a pleasant day but very warm for October and Finn especially got a little hot on the way up. But we switched the pack from Finn to Sputnik and back as each got tired.
The only reason this photo is here is because the angle made me laugh. Sputnik looks like he shrunk in the wash!
We found a nice log with a beautiful view and sat down to rest and eat a late lunch. There was plenty of grass for the goats and lots of things for Phil and I to look at through the binoculars.
Sputnik seems pleased with himself.
We headed back down around 2:00 with Finn taking the first shift at pack-carrying.
There was a ton of deadfall on this trail, and a few of the logs almost “stumped” the goats–get it? Haha!
Too many branches–Finn was afraid the pack would get stuck going over or when trying to land. It was fun to watch him try to figure it out.
So he took the lower route (the one he’d watched Sputnik use on the way up).
Finn had some trouble earlier in the day with a low tree. He tried three times to go under, but the crossbuck got stuck every time. Rather than crouch lower (which he could easily have done), Finn got frustrated and finally leaped over the top (he’s a magnificent jumper when he wants to be). Sputnik is a capable jumper but prefers to try other things first. It took Sputnik only one try to realize he had to crouch lower to clear the crossbucks. I guess Finn learned something from watching Sputnik navigate that pack.
We had a bit of trouble getting Finn to stay on the trail at the switchbacks. He was about to shimmy down this bank when I stopped beneath him and hollered “NO!” He stopped in his tracks and gave me a chance to snap a nice photo before he turned and sauntered reluctantly but obediently down the trail.
And in case anyone is wondering, yes Sputnik DOES carry the pack! In fact, Sputnik carried it for much of the way up. But we were on such a warpath to reach the top that we didn’t stop to take pictures. Sputnik took over from Finn for the last part of the hike down.
There were hardly any leaves left. A wind storm the week before had left the trees bare. But every now and then we encountered a small patch of faded gold.