Cross Country Skiing: Grand Mesa

Sprocket and I decided to follow up our hike of Mt. Garfield with an afternoon of cross country skiing on Grand Mesa. Sprocket had missed out on my first cross country ski adventure due to doctors orders so he was still anxious to get outside and play when he saw the snow boots:

Sprocket and shoes

He was ON my shoulder the whole way up to the Mesa and when we arrived at the County Line ski parking lot he was all worked up and ready to run! 

Cuddle dog

There were quite a few people leaving the parking lot at the same time and Sprocket was just excited to see people all over the place. He hardly seemed to notice all the skis and poles around (can you believe this is really his first experience with skis of any type??) and was, in typical Sprocket fashion, happy to see people but also happy to take off down the trail in front of the crowd.

Sprocket Cross Country Skiing

Once he figured out what I was doing, he trotted happily in front of me. (And he somehow knew to stay out of the groomed tracks?)

Happy Dog

Sprocket's first Cross Country Ski Adventure

We headed out to a viewpoint, looking south over Delta towards the San Juans. This photo does nothing to show how amazing this view was.

Delta, Sneffles Range, Black Canyon

Beth selfie with views

Taking in the views

After taking a few photos, Sprocket got impatient and sent his message loud and clear “Mommy, let’s GO”:

Sprocket Nose

In all, we went about six miles before heading back down the Mesa to De Beque.

Driving down the mesa

I think I tired out the puppy.

Tired dog

Leon Peak: Mesa County Highpoint

After an emotionally charged first week at my new job followed by a fun Paonia based weekend, I got a text from one of my #omniten buddies Josh letting me know that he would be passing through Grand Junction along with Shawn of Teton Sports and Jordan as part of a Teton Sports #yourlead tour.

Happy to see old friends, Sprocket and I loaded up after work on Friday and headed north. After enjoying a pizza at Hot Tomato in Fruita (fresh Palisade peaches, gorgonzola, and rosemary!!!) We all pitched our tents basically on the side of the road, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, and headed for bed. In the morning, we hiked just a short way into McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area enjoying the gorgeous views.

McInnis Canyons #yourlead

While the guys had to load up and head east for Denver, Sprocket and I decided that the day was young and we were going to go up to Grand Mesa and hike the Mesa County Highpoint. Although Leon Peak was a pretty short and sweet hike, it was Sprocket’s least favorite form of hiking. Big talus boulders do not make this puppy happy!

Leon Peak

Leon Peak

As always, I can count on him to push through and follow me to the top! He even drooled a bit on the benchmark before I could snap a photo:

Leon Peak Benchmark

Checking out the remains of the old lookout was pretty cool. It was built in 1911 or 1912 but was abandoned after the end of the 1915 season due to heavy lightning activity on the peak.

 

Leon Peak Lookout

leon peak usfs

The views all around were pretty much amazing though. I loved this hike (aside from knowing Sprocket wasn’t really crazy about it).

Leon Peak views

Views from Leon Peak

Distance: Round trip about 2.8 mi

Elevation gain: 600+ feet

Sprocket rating: Not particularly dog friendly. One imaginary thumb down.