The first part of the trail, about .5 mile, is steep uphill and then continues way up to the top of the peak. We, however, took the road less travelled to Eugenia Mine. Much less climbing, hardly any people. I love the way that the aspen leaves change from shades of green to gold before they are blown off and drift down to earth.
We also did a lot of reminiscing about earlier trips to the top of Longs Peak--my parents went up together 55 years ago, when the trail up went in a route that involved hanging onto a steel cable bolted into the rocks on the steepest section. What were they thinking???
About 10 years ago my husband, Bob, went up with my dad and they made it to the top, a special bonding experience for them. As I recall, they ended up doing the last part in the dark. Then a couple years ago daughter Brita and Bob were here and made it up as far as they could go before the weather stopped them, it quickly gets dangerous with rain and wind at those altitudes. That trip also lead to one of those funny stories that you wonder if this really happens: Brita and Bob took shelter in a little stone hut on the side of the mountain and there were only 2 other hikers still at that level. They wanted a picture of themselves to mark the occasion of their climb, so asked the guys to take a picture. They said "No", not what you would expect! Turns out they were Amish so do not believe in taking any images! What are the chances?
Last year Bob and son, Dan, made it to the summit, setting out from their campground in the dark of the morning so they could get down from the top before the afternoon storms blew in. As for me, you will not be seeing me on the summit, I can hardly stand to walk some trails along cliffs at much lower altitudes, so mountaintops are not the place for me!
So goes the family lore of trips up Longs Peak! It is a personal accomplishment for anyone who can make it, and I do wish I were one of them. But instead, I will be happy for their achievements and cheer them on from below!
Here's a couple of happy wanderers: