Golden Eagle on Eagle Rock

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 39.22340°N / 105.6642°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 8, 2007
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Summer

Short but sweet outing

My husband and I spent all day Saturday at hard labor, chopping wood and digging a trench 18 inches deep to house our cabin's propane line. Exhausted, we slept in a bit (you know, until 6:30 am or so) on Sunday and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast on the sunny front porch overlooking the Twin Cones (North Twin Cone Peak and South Twin Cone Peak). We drove the relaxing 20 minutes to the West Eagle Rock trailhead, parked our pickup and headed north east. Looking up in the sky, we saw a large bird circling Eagle Rock in the drafts. We made our usual stale jokes surrounding hiking, my husband and vultures and moved on. We hugged the west side of Eagle Rock then zig zagged up the "hidden ramp" toward the false summit just north of the true high point of Eagle Rock.

But what a surprise!

Completing the last few scramble moves of the steep ridge leading to the false summit, noticing fluffy white down affixed to the braches of stunted shrubs, I popped my head just above rock level to see a very big bird. My first reaction was: Wow, that is one BIG Raven! Then I realized, I was 40 feet away from no Raven whatsoever, but none other than the mighty Golden Eagle! She stood there upon the summit unimpressed, her broad chest and hooked beak facing into the breeze. Had I kept my wits about me, I may have quietly reached for my camera and captured this magical moment to share in digital format. Alas, the child in me rushed out and I squealed to my husband: Sweetie! The Eagle! At that point she took flight, wind under her massive wings, and disappeared to the west. We caught our breath on top of the false summit before scampering across the little sky bridge to the summit of Eagle Rock. All that was found on the summit was the summit register, a few scattered downy feathers and the white stains of Eagle droppings.

After the obligatory summit photos, we quickly vacated the summit and began our downclimb, leaving the summit perch empty for our winged friend's return. What a gift she gave us.


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