Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hiking, Paddling and Fishing

August 16 is our son Scott's birthday. Scott does not read this, but Happy Birthday Scott, anyway. We decided to celebrate his birthday by talking to him on the phone and then doing nothing the rest of the day. You just have to have those rest days to recharge and plan your next adventure.

August 17 dawned a beautiful day. We decided to return to Monarch lake and go for the trifecta. We would start the day with a 4.1 mile hike around the lake. Then we would do a paddle all around the lake and then see if there were any fish in the lake that wanted to come visit our dinner table. Or, as I like to put it...You hike for the lower body and cardio, then paddle for the upper body and more cardio then you fish for your soul. Sounds like a perfect day.

We got started by taking the hike. It was a fairly flat hike with a few short ups and downs thrown in to keep it interesting.

The View up Monarch Lake
Kim resting by the lake after the first mile or so
The trail crosses into the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. There are over 110 miles of hiking trail in IP. We only hiked this one section, but the pictures I have seen are of some beautiful areas that are just as spectacular as Rocky Mountain NP. We crossed over a couple of mountain streams that keep Monarch lake full.

After walking 3 miles we decided to stop for lunch on a rock on the edge of the lake. It was a beautiful setting.

After lunch we came upon something interesting. This is some kind of old steam powered winch. My guess is it was left over from a logging operation. I would say it from around 1900, but there was no sign or information.

We completed the hike and then went to the truck to unload the boat. We got it inflated and got out on the water. We started out with a fairly stiff wind in our face and we paddled hard to the far shore to get a break from the wind. It was a good workout. Then I fished for a while and the wind shifted and sent us down to the far end of the lake. We knew we would have a tough trip home against the wind, so we diverted over behind one of the islands and waited for another wind shift.

This shot is before the wind came up. 
While we waited,  I fished and again had no luck. We did see the funny antics of a group of Grebes. I got this one shot of them swimming quickly away. 

We paddled hard to get back to the end of the lake where we had launched the boat. It was a fun day on the lake and the trail. The fishing was a bust, but I don't really like spin casting all that much anyway. I would much rather fly fish. I would have an opportunity to do that later in the week. 

I will tell you one thing, Kim slept well that night. I think she was in bed by 10. I really like it when she will come with me on my adventure/work outs. We both need to do this more and work on staying as healthy as possible. 

After that hike, what do you think we would do the next day. If you said nothing, you would be wrong. We went on another hike. As it turned out, it was one of the most epic hikes we have ever done. I will write all about that day in my next entry. 


  1. Howdy, hope ya'll are doing ok. Wanted you to know, I think that winch thing is called a "steam donkey" or "donkey engine". Ya'll be safe, have fun.

  2. Thanks Darrell! Any guess what it was used for?

    1. Timber work. Dragging trees. The beauty was it was portable.

  3. I was wondering if one could fish from one of those rubber boats?

    Thinking about getting one early, before the RV, and taking it to the local lake for exercise. Just don't want to make a mistake and get a boat that will not work for general purpose, to include fishing and floating/paddling trips.

  4. Mark, Yes they are very good to fish from. The key is to put the wife in the back and not hook her. I am also very careful with the hooks around the boat. If you have a way to transport a solid boat, that is preferred. The inflatable works great if you have no other way to carry a boat.

  5. Oh what a perfect day! Even if nothing ended up on the dinner plate. Very pretty pictures. The weather looks lovely.

  6. yep, three of my favorite things. Great to do it with my best friend also.