Saturday, November 29, 2014

Aiken Canyon 11-29-14

A repeat of Aiken Canyon to complete November.  I learned that the homestead site on the property was claimed in 1937 by an Ira Waterman. When the Nature Conservancy got the property in the early 1990's (until which it was destined to become a quarry site), the cabin was still standing and had mousetraps and mason jars inside.  They dismantled it, considering it some kind of liability.  That makes me kind of sad - would've loved to see it.  I wonder if Ira's Irises ever bloom?  Maybe sometime we'll come at the right time of year to find out.  6 mile hike including the trail up to the cabin and spring and also the overlook aside (179.5 runtotal).  Got to see and hear a Canyon Wren today and lots of Townsend's Solitaires doing not only their one-note but also their very pretty Robin-esque song.

pointing the way - to a hidden treasure?! :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Scoter Day 11-24-14

A very blustery, chilly day at Prospect Lake.  The Duluth Trading company fleece-lined fire-hose pants did an amazing job of keeping me warm even in strong winds.  Thanks to Mel and Beth, I got 3 life-birds today - Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, and Black Scoter.

Coot came right by us on the beach.

wind-blown mallard

White-winged Scoter

squirrels definitely well-fed here.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Philip S. Miller Park 11-22-14

We started with the incline - 200 steps, maybe 225 feet elevation gain in just over a tenth of a mile in just a few minutes.  (Compared to 2000 steps, 2000 feet elevation gain, 1 mile for the Manitou Incline.)  Then we walked around 6 miles (173.5 runtotal) up and down and back and forth and round and round over the various trails in the park. I estimate about 1250 feet total elevation gain divided in 5 up and down chunks of about 250 feet each. The trails are very switchbacky not because they need to be for elevation gain but I think to get a lot more trail into a relatively small acreage.  We did not encounter too many others out on the trails, but traffic increased as the day wore on.  Checked out the Field House before leaving - very busy with swimmers, indoor soccer, indoor trampolines, birthday parties, etc.  Nice park and nice facility.

They didn't bother to try to place the storage sheds for the zip lines (in construction) level at all.

the incline (before)

the incline (after)

The Field House in front of Castle Rock

Hey Rose, there's the Devil's Head Fire Tower!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

CMSP Blackmer Loop 11/15/14

Pretty cold day for a 5 mile hike (168.5 runtotal) in Cheyenne Mountain State Park.  We briefly got snowed on (well, graupeled).  Despite the cold temps and snow, trails were pretty well travelled, including by cyclists.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Fremont Peak 11-8-14

3-years ago to the weekend since we did this one last.  This time no snow on the ascent.  Zebulon Pike summited this peak January 5, 1807 to see where he was and discovered he'd gone in a circle - he had traveled up the Arkansas River and thought he'd come down the Red River but from this vantage point he discovered he was back at the Arkansas.  Very short hike - 3.5 miles (runtotal 163.5) - and easy, except for the fairly steep/scrambly final ascent/descent to/from the summit.  Some nice views into the Royal Gorge canyon.  We saw some evidence of the recent fires around the Gorge park, but the hiked area was burn-free.

moonset behind Sachett Mountain

view of Canon City

Royal Gorge

Wet Mountains

Arkansas River (zoomed) down in gorge

summit cache

descent from summit

Mt. Pisgah (near Cripple Creek), zoomed from Fremont