This trip report is not about a hard core mountaineering expedition up an extreme mountain wall. It is the story of a three-year old child who climbed Cross Mountain with his dad.
On May 14, I was preparing to climb Cross Mountain. My son Kessler wanted to go. About four or five days a week, we climb a small hill near our house known locally as Sand Rocks Mountain. The trail starts about 100 feet from our home in Craig. I had let Kessler know that Cross Mountain was much bigger, but he still wanted to go anyway. We drove out to the trailhead passing many antelope herds along the way. The road was dry to the South Cross Mountain Trailhead, which was a welcome relief to me, since the week before the road was a messy quagmire.
The trail was easier than expected, and we found ourselves on the south summit of the mountain and looking down into a spectacular gorge. The river was far below a 1200 foot cliff, but Kessler said he wanted to go down to it. We obviously couldn’t so we walked the rim of the gorge west and down the mountain a ways, taking many photographs along the way. Kessler seemed to cut off my head in all the photos. I think he did it on purpose. We stopped to look at the many anthills and collected some rocks. There was a huge bug under one of the rocks. After eating lunch, we returned to the trailhead.
Kessler still wanted to climb another mountain, so we drove around the west side of the mountain and north to the north ridge of the main Cross Mountain. We climbed up the ridge to the northern summits, but the going was much tougher than the trail on the south summit, because it was steeper and there wasn’t a trail. There was some minor scrambling as well. Kessler was tired by then, but still wanted to continue-on his daddy’s shoulders of course. He rode most of the rest of the way except for the times I became tired. We spent a long time at the northern-most summits taking photographs, watching hawks, and watching the ants. Kessler didn’t want to go home, but it was time. He walked most of the way back.
Since Kessler didn’t want to go home, I bribed him with the promise of an ice-cream sandwich in Maybell. He ate it in the car, but don’t tell his mother.
It was a great day and two great little climbs.