We finally climbed Kings Peak!  Kevin’s brother, Lane, and his wife, Jenny, were with us.  Some quick facts:  It’s 13,528 feet.  We had a total elevation gain of 5,264 feet.  The total hike time was about 13 hours, covering about 27.5 miles.  I enjoyed it, despite the exhausted looks I had!  Tons of fun.  Absolutely beautiful out there too.  I mean, just look at these pictures.  They’re amazing.  We saw some wildlife as well, which included a big, jolly porcupine, a white mountain goat traversing a cliff (HOW do they do that?!) and some cute little rock chucks (or wood chucks?).  Actually, the porcupine probably only looked big & jolly to me.  He was probably really perturbed and ready to shoot some quills at Kevin, who was taking the picture, as well as his brother, Lane.

We hiked in about 9-10 miles the first day and set up camp.  Kevin & Lane, being real men, managed to pull out a dead tree from the roots, in order to clear a decent spot for our tent.  We ate reconstituted beef stroganoff for dinner, which I do not recommend.  Last time camping, we ate reconstituted Pad Thai, which wasn’t too bad!  Kevin & Lane left to get more water before bedding down for the night.  While they were gone, Jenny & I could hear someone yelling.  The guys got back and said they heard it too (it was pretty dark by then).  Pretty soon, we could the person yelling help.  So Kevin & Lane headed out to see what was going on.  After some time, they came back.  It was a few people that got lost off the trail with no flashlights!  They couldn’t find the way back to the trail or their campsite.  At least it wasn’t someone critically injured, as I was imagining.  My sleeping situation that night was actually pretty comfy, but as usual, I didn’t sleep much at all.  That’s probably pretty typical for most people camping.  Kevin slept pretty well and didn’t even remember the time he sat up telling me there was a snake in the tent (I think he was hearing the sound of the zipper on my sleeping bag- ha ha).

The next morning, we woke up about 6 am and ate quickly, in order to summit as soon as possible, in hopes to make it back home that night.  We had some strong winds at times, but that’s normal to us (ha ha)!  I really liked using trekking poles, except for when we got to the last part of the hike, as there was more climbing around and over rocks, etc.  Kevin liked using his poles all the way to the summit.  I’m still wondering how he seemed to do it with such ease, especially the descent.  It was great to be at the top.  We could even see the windmills at Fort Bridger, where his Aunt & Uncle live.  Pretty amazing!

We made pretty good time back to camp and quickly packed up.  Before starting back, we needed to pump some water through the filter because we were pretty low.  I could not believe how long it took just to pump a little water!  We were already feeling pretty thirsty from the descent so far.  Unfortunately, it was just taking too long (as well as a fair amount of energy) to pump a lot of water.  So we were on the low side with water, but thought it would be enough to get us out of there and back to our car, which had extra water bottles.  Of course, after some time heading back, we had used up all our water.  We started to get pretty thirsty and feel fairly dehydrated.  All was well- Lane helped us out with some of his extra gatorade & candy!  Finally we made it to the car.  There were other water sources along the way and we could have pumped more; we were just really eager to get home!  Yep, we were all anxious to get home and wash off the dirt, sweat and multiple layers of 100% Deet (the mosquitos were horrid).  All in all, a great trip.  It’s great that we had this opportunity (thanks to Marlene & Jerry and Amy & Hyrum for watching our kids!!!!)!