On July 5, 2010, I think I experienced the most spectacular day I have ever had - at least from a weather standpoint . . . but it was awesome all the way around. That's the day my brother, his friends, Don and I hiked to Spirit Lake and back.
Now the fact that it was 13.5 miles round trip wasn't that big of a deal . . . we had hiked that much before, though we were younger then. But we had to change elevations both up and down several times to do it. We were a little concerned, but since we had told Bart we would try it, we did.
We arrived at the Santa Fe Ski Area (elevation about 10,200) about 8:00 a.m. and started up the hill. The sky was the most beautiful blue . . . something very common in New Mexico, but not so common in Kansas . . . the day was cool (almost cold), no wind . . . it was absolutely perfect. And it stayed that way all day. At times it got a little warm, but compared to what we are used to, it was nothing!
When we reached the Wilderness sign (elevation about 10,800), we stopped for a few minutes to breathe . . . and then started again. At Puerto Nambe, (elevation 11,100) we stopped again for a breather. Several hours later, we arrived at Spirit Lake, (elevation 10,800) which is the beginning of the stream that runs by our cabin. It was so beautiful . . . no trash, no camp marks, just a gorgeous lake, a gorgeous day, and nice friends. Then we had to hike back up to Puerto Nambe, then down and back up to the Wilderness sign, and then down to Santa Fe Ski Area. Although we didn't get back to the car until 6:30 p.m., and although we were tired, it was an awesome day!