Hiking in the Mountains - Pt 1

Saturday, Jan, the girls & I all went up to Payson for a hike in the cool mountains.  We took a lot of pictures (over 200) so I'm dividing the post into 2 parts, and most of it will be photos.

It's like a photo montage of our hike.

With commentary.

So sit back, grab a refreshing drink, and enjoy.

It was a two hour drive and most of the way there it looked like this:

And this:

And a few stretches looked kinda like this:

All in all it was a pretty nice drive.  Of course the higher we got, the cooler it was.  Which was a relief from our hundred plus temps.  Plus there was a nice breeze too.

The trail head we were taking was on a fire route off the main highway.  Four miles up a dirt, well, more like pebbly, road. 

About half way to the trail head, we come across a couple cows in the forest.

It was so weird seeing cows in the middle of a forest, but I guess they live here.  Or at least graze here.  This one had an ear tag and brand.  It wasn't like a wild cow or anything.

The girls were all excited to see it.

Such city kids!

We got to the campsite where we to park and unloaded kids, dog, and packs.  

Then it was off into the wild!!

First thing we saw were some more cows.  Some mamas with their babies.  J's dog Zita was so excited and wanted to chase them so badly.  Even having a mama cow moo and charge her didn't discourage her from the chase!

The girls wanted to know if they could pet the cow.  City Girls.  I told them the mama cow would not let them get close enough to her or her baby and would either stand there and stare, run or charge.  Turns out, they pretty much ran away from us.

About half an hour or so into our hike we came across a pile of rocks that they girls could climb and would make for a good photo opp.  Except I birthed a trio of uncooperative models.  

Especially this one:

I got one half way decent photo of all of them.  Little punks!

Especially this one:

A couple more shots on the rock, grab a snack and we were back on the trail again.

Most of the trail ran along a creek, but it wasn't very full.  In fact, some parts were nearly dry.  The trail was basically the path the cattle take along the creek.  Which was quite evident by the number of cow patties we had to dodge!

Now, typically, here would be where I'd insert a picture of a big, huge, steaming pile of cow poop.  But I didn't take a picture of one figuring S would do that. Surprisingly she never took one!  Instead, you get to see some of the not-so-full creek.

You're welcome.  You can thank me for that later. 

We hiked, and hiked, and hiked some more.  I took picture of rocks and trees and things. We saw a bunch of butterflies flutter around and crossed the creek a couple of times.

Each time we had to cross the creek D would ask; "What do I do now?  Where is the trail?  How do I get across?"

We came real close to leaving her to the cows.

But then I remembered, she's a City Girl.  City Girls don't know how to cross creeks (although her sisters seemed to manage it) and need detailed instructions.

Every time they have to cross one!

Oh, by the way.  This was my view for most of the hike:

Almost an hour into the hike we came to a clearing.  And what did we see?  A HERD OF COWS!!  The girls were so excited to see A HERD OF COWS! 

I told Jan that my girls are the girls we used to pick on when we were in school. Getting excited over a COW.

It's a COW!  It moos.  It poops.  Big deal.

Then I remembered.  They're City Girls.  City Girls have never seen cows.  

Well, except maybe one at the City Zoo.  Or the County Fair.

More mamas and babies.  

Then THIS:

Two big-ass bulls.  Staring each other down.

The big brown one was all up in the little black one's face.  Yelling insults and crap at him.  I think at one point he even said that all the heifers are his.  HIS, DAMN IT!

We carefully and slowly walked waaaay around the dueling bulls, the whole time J making sure Zita doesn't get any dumb ideas about chasing them, and had another pit stop and to let some horseback riders pass.

This was also when the dueling bulls decided to do the whole head-butting, I'm stronger than you thing, but the group on horseback were in the way & I couldn't get a picture of the bull fight.

Bummer, I know.  I realize you really wanted to see that, but what's a girl to do?

Anyway, it was back on the dusty trail to see what other adventure await us.  Unfortunately, the HERD OF COWS! and the bull fight were really the most exciting thing on the hike!

There were many trees that had fallen across the trail, some we could walk over, some were cut away from the path, and others we had to climb over or walk around.  One we had to walk over, and it was kind of hard for a 40-something short stack like me!  Dang thing was at my waist!  (So it was 2 1/2 feet high!)

AND it had a big cow poop on it!  That's right.  Smack dab in the way was a big cow poo.  I swear, it looked like a cow purposely positioned it's rear-end just so over this log so it's turd would land in the way of innocent hikers like us.

Or to amuse City Girls.

And you can again thank me.  The kids wanted me to take a picture.  But I didn't, figuring S would on the way back.  She has a thing about cow and horse poop, what can I say.  But she didn't take a picture.  Because R was going to.  But then J knocked it off, so R couldn't take the picture of it.  So you are, once again, saved from having to view a picture of poop on a log.

You're welcome.

Tune again later for the thrilling conclusion of our hike in the mountains.


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