Today we went hiking with a group of retired teaching ladies. Well, most of them are retired. I found out about the group through a lady who works in the math department with me named Nancy (so, obviously she's not retired, but most in the group are). This is a group of women that meet to hike every single Thursday no matter the weather, all year round. The numbers vary as different people show up as they wish. Most of the ladies are probably in their 60's, but one lady was in her 80's. However, this lady is a super woman - she is very very fit - well-muscled and could probably run a 5k without hardly breaking a sweat. I was impressed!
We hiked the Catamount trail and at times had a lovely view of of the north face of Pikes Peak to our left. Apparently there is another Catamount trail that has its head at Green Mountain falls, but this is a new one that opened last year and maybe connects the other one. Its head was up the Ute Pass beyond Woodland Park but before Florissant or Divide, off a side road. We hiked almost 7 miles we think. Actually, 5 of us did, including my niece, but the rest of the group headed back a bit earlier and so hiked closer to 5 miles. My niece and nephew were the only children on the hike and they did get tired but they loved playing with Nancy's dog Gus. Gus loves going on hikes and playing in creeks and especially carrying and fetching sticks. Although the temperatures were to get into the 90's today, we were fortunate that up at the elevation we were hiking at it didn't get quite that hot and in fact by the time we were coming back some storm clouds were blowing over and it was breezy and in the 70's - so that was very nice.
I do need to remember to bring my GPS on such hikes in the future as sometimes these ladies aren't quite sure where they're going and a GPS can show you your tracks so you can at least make sure you take the same path back as you came in on to get yourself "unlost" if needed. I hope to hike with them again - it was a good day.
This is after we finished hiking and just got back to the cars at the trailhead.
This is a lean-to shelter we passed on our way around the upper loop.
This is my nephew eating a cinnamon roll as big as his head when we stopped at The Donut Mill in Woodland Park on our way home. Apparently that is a tradition with the ladies to stop there or somewhere similar.