Pass Peak Day Hike

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It was kind of a last minute thing to do. I had talked about taken Jaden into the mountains for a hike in the National Park. Diana was not sure if she was going to attend or do some work at home. This was Friday evening and into Saturday morning.

Saturday morning came and no real plans yet. It wasn’t until late morning that we decided to go to the National Forest instead. We had an early lunch and made our way up to Kaiser Pass. From there our hike would begin.

The map showed a trail going around Kaiser Meadow. Our goal was to check out the meadow and make it to a creek to the west of the meadow. We did not see any signs or path for that trail, but instead ended up following a user created route west of the pass and along the ridge line to Pass Peak. It was going to be an uphill climb and you could feel it. Not that it was very difficult or anything. We were just starting out at 9,100 feet elevation.

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We put Jaden in front so we could keep an eye on him as well as the surroundings. He seemed to be having a great time leading us up the trail. He was getting his “hiking feet” ready. This was the second time wearing his hiking shoes and socks too. The trail had one steeper section where I held his hand and slowly made our way up. Fortunately, there was a surprise near the trail.

It was bright white in color. As Jaden approached he was puzzled somewhat. I told him that was left over snow. Of course, we had to walk in it and from a snow ball. How about that? It was July and we were having a small snowball fight. Jaden really liked the idea too as he threw several more than Diana or myself.

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Not long after our snowball fight, we hiked up hill for about 10 more minutes. We were now at Pass Peak. It had some nice views to the east and to the south. Looking on my map, I noticed a benchmark symbol. Thus a game was created to find the “hidden treasure” near Pass Peak. We headed north to find it and, thankfully, we were successful in doing so.

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The hidden treasure was found. It was a USGS elevation benchmark set in 1968. It was almost 50 years ago someone was surveying the elevation and put in this benchmark. We put our shoes around the benchmark for scale and snapped a photo. Now it was time to head back.

On our way back down to the car we grabbed a snack in the shade. The temperature was prefect in the shade. Once our snack was done, we soon found out we all sat on a sappy rock. Apparently the tree was dripping away and nobody saw it. I didn’t even think to look for it either until after Diana pointed it out.

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There was a large boulder to climb up on during the trek back. I helped Jaden up and we both climbed it together. Diana grabbed a photo of us sitting there looking at the mountains in the distance. We then proceeded down the boulder, grabbed our gear, and continued.

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As you can see the skies were clear of smoke and the views were great (see above). The trail apparently was a converted road maybe? Anyway this was the trail we followed on the way up so we continued on our way down. Wildflowers were everywhere and their perfume was pleasant. The bees were out and, since it was a lot of loose gravel, ants were everywhere. Jaden got some of the gravel in his shoes so we quickly had to remove it before the ants got us.

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Overall it was a short hike, but a great one. The family enjoyed it and Jaden was ready to climb on top of another mountain. In fact, he pointed off in the distance asking, “daddy, can we go climb that one?” I told him another day when he is a little bit older because we would have to hike more than 30 minutes to get to it.

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