the backpacking trip that almost wasn't.

last friday evening, as soon as mr. lesley got off work, we loaded up the car and headed out for a weekend of backpacking in the mountains with our friends luke and krista. 
with sir winston in tow and snacks for the road, we were ready.

ready for a weekend as planned, not exactly ready for the "adventure" that awaited us.
we arrived at the trailhead, laced up our hiking boots, put on our packs, and we were off to hike the 5 miles to our destination: willow lake
ready to meet our friends who were already at our campsite. 

until about a mile in when sir winston decided he was over it. 
"over it" meaning he decided to lay on the trail, act like he was dying, and refuse to move or walk.
{enter panicked dog mom here.}
he wouldn't eat; he wouldn't drink; and we were screwed. 

we obviously couldn't keep hiking and we had to get him back to the car. 
but, remember, he refused to walk at this point.
so before i knew it, mr. lesley picked him up and started carrying him a mile back to the car. 
{even in my panicked state, i couldn't deny the adorableness of that scene.}

on the way, mr. lesley got sir winston to drink in a stream, so he started coming back to life. 
{thank God!} 
we got into the car and decided we should try to stay in a hotel for the night...give him food and water...and see how he was feeling the next morning. 

after an awkward interaction with a woman at a liquor store, a few phone calls, and a serious scan through a local newspaper, we finally found a spot to stay for the night...casa alegria

joanne, our wonderful hostess, uses an extra room in her house as a bed and breakfast.
it had an adobe floor, straw roof, cable tv, internet, and a directory of all the healers in crestone.

when sir winston started acting as normal as could be that night, we figured he was either very dehydrated or too smart for his own good and crafted the perfect scenario for getting out of hiking.
animals these days.

in the morning, joanne made us a delicious breakfast on her porch, gave us the lowdown on the city, and was just as sweet as can be. 
and we decided to take our chances and head out again for round two. 
thank the good lord, we made it through 5 rough miles {sir winston didn't even need to be carried once}.
{i was too concerned about not passing out to take any pictures on the way up.}
all i have to say though is...that hike was no joke. 

our exhausted and disheveled selves finally made it to the lake and started calling out for luke and krista. 
and the good news, we found them and their perfect camping spot above the lake with a great view of the waterfall! 
we spent a good amount of the evening admiring the views, watching sir winston attempt to eat every bug in site {while trying to keep his craziness in check}, and reveling in having absolutely nothing to do.
and we even had some visitors to our campsite! 
animal friends!
fortunately, everyone appeased my group photo request. 
well, most everyone.
sir winston was less than cooperative.
an added bonus: couple photos for the win! 
in order to escape the devilish mosquitos, the four of us retreated to our tent for a couple intense games of cribbage to end out the evening. 

mr. lesley and i had never played before, but i think i'm now officially hooked. 
anyone in the 65 and older crowd wanna join me for a match? 
bright and early sunday morning, we packed up camp and started our 5 mile hike back to the car.
it's a lot easier to take in the beauty and goodness {and take pictures of it} when you're going downhill. 
i included this picture because of it's sheer ridiculousness.
1. i look like a giant.
2. sir winston's tongue. wow.
{a man and his dog...and his pillow...but mostly his dog.}
we finally made it down to our cars, nursed our wounds, stopped in salida for a delicious meal, and made it home all in one piece. 

what a beautiful, exhausting, and fun weekend.

{oh, and for my fellow animal lovers, sir winston is fine. i talked to the vet and she thinks he was dehydrated and stressed. and maybe just a little high maintenance. 
okay, that last part was all me.}


  1. you people. we should go at the same time.

    gorgeous photos.

  2. (at the same time, and to the same place, in case that wasn't clear!)

  3. How gorgeous! I'm so glad you ended up being able to do it! :-)

  4. I was reading this on my phone, but got out of bed to type this comment on my computer because...

    1. your photos are amazing
    2. you failed to mention (in your in-person recap) that you wore socks with chacos. socks. with chacos. and you let someone take a picture of it.