Saturday, October 26, 2013

Red Rock Open Space 10/26/13

We took the Contemplative Trail and Sand Canyon Trail to the Intemann Trail and looped back down via Greenlee.  About 5 miles.  Saw 3 different ponds, 2 of which I don't think were there at all before.  One was clearly at one point about 10-15 ft higher than current, but the Mallards still enjoyed it.  Lots of Juncos and Ruby Crowned Kinglets enjoying the pond areas as well.  Good variety of terrain.  Last photo is of my cat on his new scratcher, just because.

I don't think the pond below is normally there at all.  It is still pretty extensive and deep but red mud marks on the shore and on the tree trunks show it was easily 10-15 feet higher not too long ago....

Ruby-crowned Kinglet loving the 3rd new pond way up the Sand Canyon trail.

Quarry - history of the Red Rock Open Space including the quarry, reported on  "Activity on Red Rock Canyon dates back to 7000 B.C., during the Archaic Stage. Due to its close proximity to Fountain Creek and its abundant wildlife, this was an ideal location for settlement.

During the late 1800s the property provided many building supplies for Old Colorado City and the surrounding communities. Material taken from the quarries included Gypsum, building sand and sandstone blocks. The Kenmuir Quarry, mined during this time, was open seven days a week due to demand. Declining demand for stone and increased demand for concrete and steel, forced the quarry to close in the early part of the 20th Century.

Opening in 1886, the Colorado-Philadelphia Company Mill used the land to refine the ore shipped by train from the gold mines in Cripple Creek. It was the largest mill of its kind in the United States, until the new Golden Cycle Mill was built in the early part of the 1900s.

John George Bock purchased the property in the 1920s-1930s and later willed it to his two sons. John S. Bock, the eldest son, continued to live there until his death in 2002. The family had grand plans for the property including a resort community with convention center, high-rise towers, commercial centers and a golf course. In the end, they were only able to build a few residences and outbuildings, two dozen mobile home sites, a 53-acre landfill, and two gravel quarries. In 2003, the City of Colorado Springs purchased the Red Rock Canyon property to be used as public open space."

Below is the main pond by the old Bock property.

Abe was pretty happy to get his new scratcher - he checked it out immediately.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Catamount Trail 10/19/13

About a 6.5 round-trip hike from Green Mountain Falls by the pond up to the Catamount Reservoirs and around them a bit.  Snow made it a little slippery in places.  Not terribly steep, though, although elevation gain is about 1500 feet.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cheyenne Mountain State Park 10/12/13

A little chilly at times today - some muddy areas, lots of evidence of flows and flooding, and still-flowing creeks from our floods earlier this season.  Amazing.  A bit of fall color as well.  Always nice to spend a morning hiking with good friends.