Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ghost Ranch

Sarah woke up early this morning and went to her hot yoga class.  For those who don't know, it is like a regular yoga class, but they keep the room at a balmy 105 degrees.  So I had the kid wrangling duty for the morning.  She got back around 1030 and I got ready for my run.  I did just shy of 4 miles and set a personal best on my 5k time.  Woohooo!

Then Russ showed up around 1230.  We farted around for awhile deciding what to do and then packed up and headed out to the Ghost Ranch.  The Ghost Ranch was initially a dude ranch that served the wealthier denizens of the Los Angeles area.  It was successful enough, but was eventually bought by noted artist Georgia O'keefe.  Now it is a resort, artist retreat, museum and all around multi-use property.  It is also gorgeous.

We arrived and started poking around.  Of course we had the vague plan of hiking one of the more well known trails around the property, but weren't sure which one.  We decided on the Chimney Rock trail since it was the most distinct feature we had seen.  On the way we were distracted by a museum with displays of archaeology and anthropology.  Many fossils have been found in the area and Michael was just itching to go look.  After that stop, we hiked.  The Chimney Rock trail hikes around 3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 650-ish feet.

We knew it was going to be pretty when we started taking pictures on the drive in. 

Still a few miles away from the entrance.  It looks like the rock is melting away.  I guess it is, but very slowly.

Our first stop was the anthropology/paleontology museum.

Michael was right at home.

The view from the front porch of the visitor's center.

Finally out on the trail.  Guess which one is Chimney Rock.

Right away the climbing starts.  The kids were not happy.

Max found some happy though, in the form of Mommy's hiking hat.
Just trying to be artsy again.  Never works quite like I imagine. 

A closer view of the formation.
Max was getting hot. 

Some formations in a canyon we passed.  The kids kept yelling weird things just to hear the echo. I, of course, was silent and reserved and in no way experimented to see if fart noises would echo.
Eventually we gained the top of the mesa.  Chimney Rock looks a lot different from up here.

Michael and Max serenely enjoying the view.
For about a nanosecond. 

Wow, those sides are steep.

Breathe Mom, we didn't let him fall.

Russ took a look too.

Again Mom, notice how I am firmly holding his hand. Besides, the drop wasn't steep there.

Safely away from the edge.
My turn.

Mommy decided this as far enough for her picture.

The view from the top is worth it. 

The long hike home.

We amused ourselves on the way down with the idea that this mesa was an erupting volcano. 
It was a fun hike and beautiful day.  If you go, bring plenty of water.  Start early and you could hike all three main trails in a day I bet.