Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak
"Spacious Skies"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Baker Gulch Trail at Never Summer Range Wilderness

I like hiking trails that follow a creek or mountain stream and crossing nature made bridges of logs and rocks.  That is an accurate description of Baker Gulch Trail at Never Summer Range Wilderness.  Everyday it rained in the Rockies and thrice we were caught in a hail storm.  The further up we climbed, the temperature dropped and an approaching rain storm would result in a hail storm of sharp balls of ice heading our heads.  I love every minute of being in a mountain rainfall and hail storm.  It is in my nature I guess. A result of my Cherokee Indian heritage is the love of misty mountains, smoky clouds and deep forests of running rivers and streams.  I love the Rockies but the Smokey Mountains is my ancestral home and where my heart abides.

Scary and Magnificent Old Fall River Road

The eleven mile stretch of Old Fall River Road is a must for anyone visiting the Rocky Mountains.  There are very few people on the road and the scenic drive will take your breath away.  It started raining and the clouds were draped over the mountain range like a cloak.  The twist and turns of the road made me nervous and there was only one way to go and that was upward until you reached the top to the Alpine Visitor Center.  Once you start the trip on the dirt road, it is one way and no turning around!  The posted speed limit is 15 miles per hour, a journey up Old Fall River Road is not for the impatient. There are no guard rails along this road.  I plan to go back and hike some of the trips to the different falls.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Coyote Valley Trail Head - "Above the Bright Blue Sky"

The Coyote Valley Trail is a easy family friendly nature trail that makes a loop along the Colorado River in the Kawuneeche Valley. This trail is level, wide, and smooth. The trail begins from the handicapped parking area and travels across the Colorado River over a stone bridge. It was a nice area to fish and have a picnic.  The sky had swirling clouds against a bright blue heaven. These pictures of the sky is perfect imagery for a very popular children's poem written by Albert Midlane in the 19th century "Above the Bright Blue Sky."
Above the Bright Blue Sky
By Albert Midlane (1825-1909)

There's a Friend for little children
Above the bright blue sky,
A Friend who never changes
Whose love will never die;
Our earthly friends may fail us,
And change with changing years,
This Friend is always worthy
Of that dear name he bears.
There's a home for little children
Above the bright blue sky,
Where Jesus reigns in glory,
A home of peace and joy;
No home on earth is like it,
Nor can with it compare;
And everyone is happy,
Nor could be happier there.

Ute Trail at Poudre Lake

Ute Trail is moderate in difficulty but it was a cold crisp day and wet from rain which made it slippery on steep rocky paths.  We started the hike at Poudre Lake and the trail was muddy in places and you climbed upward and toward the rocky cliffs.  The trail leads to the Alpine Visitor Center a distance of 5 miles which I was not prepared to do. Several hikers wearing appropriate hiking attire and backpacks past us on the trail. My feet and ankles needed a break from the previous days hiking trip.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Grand Lake Colorado

This was taken from the historical Grand Lake Lodge.

Rocks and More Rocks, Oh My!

 The stone cliffs are from the Old Fall River Road and the Continental Divide.

Horseshoe Park and Falls


View from Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountains at Horseshoe Park.

Red Mushrooms Rocky Mountains

The mushroom which is red with white spots and grows in and around the Rocky Mountains is called Amanita Muscaria. The more common name for this mushroom is Fly Agaric. This mushroom can be deadly to humans if consumed. If the mushroom is prepared properly it can produce hallucinogenic effects.

Lulu City's Mother Moose

Lulu City is on the Colorado River and a mother moose and her calf decided to join us.  We quickly left the river and headed into the trees to avoid a hostile mother.

Hiking the Lulu City Trail Head

The Lulu City Trail head follows the Colorado River. Following the route of an old wagon road to the Shipler Mine and Lulu City, this hiking trail follows the Colorado River up the Kawuneeche Valley through Lodgepole Pine and Spruce forests to Lulu City. It rained heavily and we were stucked in a hail storm for 30 minutes.  We used an island of trees among the path as refuge from the storm.  The trail became swampy and white hail balls covered the ground.  There are a lot of stones and high cliffs along the trail. 

Tree Goblins

Strange twisted tree trucks were in our path hiking the Rocky Mountains.  I call them tree goblins. The kind J.R. Tolkien wrote in his books are also called Orcs.  Orc is from Old English orcneas, which appears in the epic poem Beowulf, and refers to one of the races who are called the offspring of Cain.