Hiking the Colorado Trail

I have this obsession for hiking the Colorado Trail in one go, all 500 miles of it. But before I can tackle the whole trail, I need a lot more training. I’d also love to find a furry friend to hike it with, but if I do that, I won’t be able to start at the Waterton Canyon trailhead in Denver because dogs are not allowed in the canyon. The Colorado Trail Foundation website lists an alternate route to the beginning of the CT, starting at Indian Creek trailhead east of Sedalia.

Saturday was a beautiful day for hiking. Sunny. Some snow on the ground. Not too cold. I drove to the Indian Creek trailhead to check out this alternate route and decided to hike to the intersection where the Indian Creek Trail #800 intersects with the CT. I was glad to have my traction devices because the trail was icy and in some spots like a bobsled track. Trail #800 took me through a shadowy gulch—crossing Bear Creek twice, along a ridge with beautiful views, and back down to the junction at the CT, arriving at Lenny’s Rest two and half hours later. I snapped some pictures and ate my lunch, thinking about the day when I will be stopping at this bench with my backpack and my furry friend.

I hiked 4.4 miles only to walk a few yards on the CT. But now I know where my journey will begin. I’m calling January 16 the official first training day to prepare for my CT through hike.

Lenny’s Rest on the CT

Happy New Year

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

My plan was to finish the first draft of Book 3 by the end of 2020, but I didn’t quite make it. This morning I wrote the end of the last chapter, but there are still two or three chapters between that one and Chapter 35 where I left off. Basically, I need to write the grand finale and get the characters to that final chapter, but I’m not sure how. Reading the draft the way it is now might spark some insight, or go hiking for inspiration. Hiking is the best remedy for everything for me. Fresh air, sunshine, and Nature are magic. Cheers.

Hiking Adventure With Bird Encounter

This Sunday morning’s hike took me through meadows and Aspen groves in one of Colorado’s State Parks. At one point, I sat on a bench to eat a snack, and I had just packed away the remaining food, when three Gray Jays dived toward me, reminding me of Hitchcock’s The Birds. At the last minute, they seemed to remember their manners and settled instead on an Aspen tree near the bench, but one of them dive-bombed me three times while I held up my phone to take photos.
Gray Jays are also known as “Camp Robbers” because they miraculously show up wherever there is food to find. Beats me how they knew I was sitting on that bench eating a snack. According to the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, the Gray Jay is unusually tame and habitually goes into camps to steal food. The book didn’t mention dive-bombing and harassing.
Since my first encounters with Gray Jays years ago, I have always had the impression that they were just extremely friendly birds, but I have never seen them behave as brazenly as they did today. Maybe they thought they could steal some lunch off me. No way, guys.

When your friend grows old

Yesterday, on our favorite hike, it hit me again how much my best friend shows her age, and I don’t mean her white face.

Hiking up the mountain trail was a breeze, but after two hours of uphill walking to the alpine lakes, the way back proved to be a bit challenging for Kayla. She stumbled several times and needed to rest quite a bit. Every time I stopped, she lay down all the way onto her side. She looked so pitiful and sad that other hikers asked if she was okay. I felt a bit guilty for taking her on this long hike, but I also know and see the enthusiasm with which she starts out on every hike. Her and I love the forests, the alpine meadows, and the clear blue mountain lakes. Kayla especially loves the little critters on the way. Her ears perk up and she looks as if she wants to give them the run for their lives—if I let her.

Up by the lakes, a couple was fishing, and they had brought their two border collies. One of them, named Goose, loved to play and fetch a stick out of the water. If I hadn’t stopped throwing that stick, Goose and I would still be playing today, I think. Playing with this young active dog, made Kayla a bit jealous and made me remember when she was this active and playful. I’m sad to know that our outdoor adventures and time together are winding down, and soon perhaps, there will be only the neighborhood strolls.

After the hike, both of us were a bit stiff in the hips and legs. Today, we took it easy and just hung out at home. But this summer, Kayla and I are going to give whatever we still got in us to enjoy these beautiful hikes. Fall and winter will be here all too soon.