A couple weeks ago, one of our dogs, Tanner, passed away. He suffered from seizures, which were somewhat controlled by medication and diet. However, we never determined the underlying cause of the seizures. Three years of periodic seizures, medication, and possibly other health issues took a toll on him. In the month prior to his passing, Tanner's body shutdown and we thought we were going to lose him then. He made a recovery for a short period of time but his body wasn't strong enough to recover completely. On Sunday night, November 15th, he became mopey. Monday, he wouldn't eat and barely drink. He wasn't keeping any food or water down and barely had enough strength to stand. His body shut down on Tuesday and by late afternoon he seemed to lose awareness. Not long after we ate dinner, he passed away by our side as we comforted him. He was 9 years old and gone way to soon.
|Tanner as a puppy|
|Puppy Tanner with Foxy|
|Tanner as a young adult|
|Enjoying the rare sunny day in Maine|
|Waiting for his tennis ball to be thrown|
|Tanner with his brother Domino.|
These two were very close.
|Lounging with Puma|
|Growing up in Maine, Tanner was used to the snow and cold|
|Relaxing on his bed|
The peak is in the relatively low Wet Mountains. The Wet Mountains run parallel to the Sangre de Cristos a short distance and is the first mountain range rising from the plains west of Pueblo, just outside of Canon City. The range just barely rises above treeline and tops out at 12,346' on Greenhorn Mountain. Tanner Peak is near the northern end of the range at a lowly 9340' in elevation.
Don't let the lowly elevation of Tanner Peak be misleading. It is still a respectable hike. The trailhead, just south of Canon City, starts out around 5900'. The roundtrip hike on the North Tanner Trail is more than 13 miles. With numerous ups and downs along the way, the roundtrip hike gains nearly 4000' in elevation.
My occasional hiking partner Drew has some familiarity hiking in the Wets and wanted to visit Tanner Peak, so we met at the trailhead and hiked together. We started our hike around 830AM on Tuesday morning, two days before Thanksgiving.
The trailhead is just a few miles from Canon City. Canon City is a warm spot in Colorado, calling itself "The Climate Capital of Colorado." It's usually a good 20F warmer in Canon City compared to my house. Canon City is also 2000' lower in eleveation. So when we started the hike it was fairly comfortable in the mid to upper 40s. Unlike most higher mountain ranges that have snow at the trailheads by now, no winter attire was needed at the trailhead.
|The start of our hike|
The trail started out in scrubby terrain. The vegetation is more high desert than mountain. Most of
the trees were scrub oaks with plenty of cactus at the start of the hike. The trail climbs out of the gate and has fairly loose footing. The North Tanner Trail is also used by ATVs and dirt bikes and it shows at places. The scenery wasn't too much different than the Arkansas Hills outside of Salida where I frequently mountain bike. The scrub gave way to pinon and juniper and eventually stands of ponderosa. The trail passed numerous rock formations along the way. It didn't take long to get some commanding views of Pikes Peak, which isn't too far north.
|one of the numerous gulches along the route|
|Pikes Peak beyond an outcropping|
|Another of the many outcroppings and cliffs|
|The trail was fairly gradual much of the way|
|Reminiscent of the scenery of Salida's Arkansas Hills|
|Scrub oaks are common|
|Doesn't look like much from the crest of the range but that is Tanner's|
summit ahead on that rise
|Wide shot taking in much of the Sangres|
|A closer look of the Central Sangres|
|The Sangres north of Hayden Pass|
|Summit shot next to the Tanner Brown Memorial Cairn|
|Another sweeping shot of the Sangres|
|Toward the southern end of the Sangres|
|The flat area between the snowy peaks is around Hayden Pass|
|Sangres from Hayden Pass to Hunts Peak|
|These are the peaks behind my house. I live on the downslope|
of the Twin Sisters and Bushnell Peak, the peaks on the center right
of the picture
|Southern Sawatch Peaks|
|Descending from the summit|
|I like the layers of this picture with the rocks nearby, the Wet|
Mountain Valley, then the Sangres
|Passing by another rock outcropping|
|Pikes Peak with Canon City visible in the foreground|
I probably wouldn't hike Tanner Peak in the summer. It seems like Canon City is routinely in the upper 90s and much of the hike is without shade. It also seems like good habitat for rattlesnakes. The trail also has plenty of wear from motorized users and there is probably more traffic from the ATVs and dirt bikes in the summer. We, however, had the trail to ourselves the entire hike.
I will probably visit other peaks in the Wet Mountain Range this winter. The conditions are not as harsh and there is very little avalanche risk in most of the range. The views of the Sangres never get old and just for that reason I want to visit the Wets again.
As for Tanner Brown, you will be sadly missed.
|Me with a young Tanner|
|A more recent picture with Tanner|