Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rifle's Secret Mountain Treasure maybe it is not such a secret but it has been unknown to us for the past 7 years. Who knew that Rifle had Colorado mountains only a few miles away? Now for those who have visited Rifle I know you are rolling your eyes thinking right....there are no mountains in Rifle...only hills and lots of sage brush. Mountains have aspen groves and tall pine trees. That does not exist in Rifle. Up until a week ago I would have agreed with you. Don't get me wrong there is a lot of beauty in Rifle but I would never have classified Rifle's beauty as being the beauty you find in the is more like a desert kind of beauty but better. But I am here to tell you that there is mountain beauty in Rifle...or at least close by.

The boys and I first experienced Rifle's secret mountain treasure a couple of weeks ago. The boys had a Friday off from school while the teachers worked so we decided to get out on a beautiful fall day and explore a little trail we had just heard about...the Beaver Creek Trail. We headed south of Rifle up Taugenbaugh Mesa onto a little dirt road that led us straight from the desert into the mountains in about 20 minutes. We went from sagebrush to aspens that were arrayed in their full autumn glory. We found the trailhead and set out hiking through aspen groves and huge pine trees on a trail that was littered with golden leaves. It was beautiful! Glorious! Caleb enjoyed being out in the woods taking pictures. The dogs had a blast running free in the hills and the rest of us just enjoyed being outdoors taking in the day.

We had so much fun in fact that we decided we needed to take Dad to experience our treasure. He was all for it so yesterday morning we decided to head back up to the trail again. We knew some weather was coming in but decided if we headed out right away we would beat the weather and get to enjoy the day! Our friends, the Johnsons joined us and off we went. The aspens were a little more bare. The leaves were a little more brown but the beauty was still awesome and the adventure was spectacular. The adventure began when Joshua, who has provided us with numerous stories of adventure in his short life, got ahead of us and took a wrong turn on the trail. We actually found him fairly quickly but not before Dave had taken off and jogged about 2 miles along the ridge in search of him. Dave did not find him but he did find a large fresh print on the trail that belonged to either a bear or a very large mountain lion. After we finally were all together in one place again we stood on the ridge overlooking the valley below for miles and watched the storm move in. When we begain to feel the snow we decided it might be best to head back to our vehicles. As we were making our way back down the trail a huge microburst of wind swept across the mountain. We could hear the wind coming long before it reached us. The trees were groaning and banging against each other so loudly that it sound like thunder rumbling through the hills. When the wind arrived we could see the trees bending and swaying and groaning and suddenly about 100 feet in front of us one huge pine tree could withstand the wind no longer and with a huge crack came crashing down in front of us taking an aspen tree out on its way down. It was amazing. We stood there in shock and awe to see this majestic mighty tree lying across the path in front of us and praised God that we were not under the tree when it fell! We all made our way over the tree and finally arrived at our vehicles thankful that none of the pine trees surrounding our vehicles had come crashing down. There were other trees that did not survive the burst of wind though....3 that fell across the road that we needed to take to make our way back down into Rifle. Thankfully working together we were able to remove the trees from the road and get back to Rifle before the storm hit! It was a wonderful time with friends enjoying the beauty of God's amazing creation in our own little Rifle mountain treasure!

1 comment:

Joan said...

I thought I would just check out your blog today after checking it not too long ago and it was still the same. Looks like you guys are having fun exploring the world around you. Wouldn't mind checking it out myself on a visit. I'm sure my foot could handle it for a while. MOM

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