Sunday morning, I was treated to my first hike in Eldorado Canyon State Park.
It was a perfect day to be outdoors.
It was in the high thirties with a light breeze (brisk!), beautifully sunny and the ground ground was either hard-packed ice, several inches of snow or a slush-mud mix that you sank at least an inch down into with each step.
I was warm and toasty the rest of the day. My base layers are a merino wool mix, yet thinner than a t-shirt and worth every darned cent.
I had also picked up some proper hiking shoes the day before; a pair of waterproof Merrell hikers. Admittedly, I would have been miserable and heading home early if not for those shoes.
The views of the Flatirons from the Canyon State Park trails were stunning. Craggy and sharply defined, these paths made for a perfect starter hike.
We were treated to open vistas, crystalline creeks partially frozen over and thick evergreen trees that lined wandering foot paths.
As we neared the end of the trail, I turned and was treated to the best view of the day.
I can’t wait to head back to try other trails and do the same trail again (only this time on dry dirt vs. the snow and slush). It’s truly God’s country out here.
One of the many little lessons I’ve learned in living here in Colorado now for the last few months is that if you don’t have a tolerance for driving around a dirty vehicle for weeks at a time, you’re going to have to budget for quite a few carwashes during snow season.
It’s a crying shame to move to one of the most beautiful places in the United States and not immediately spend every available opportunity venturing out to explore. Thus I found myself, several months after setting up shop here in Colorado, not having yet driven into the mountains to do any sight-seeing.
So I opened up Google maps, looked at surrounding towns within easy driving distance, and settled on Nederland, Colorado.
After a roughly 45 minute drive northwest through the foothills and up into the mountains via more than a few gut-twisting turns and twists, I rolled into town.
It was far too brisk a day to comfortably get out and walk the downtown area (or anywhere outside the warm confines of my SUV), so the photography was mainly kept to the views of Barker Reservoir.
It took a bit of time to be able to navigate to the top of the mountain roads open to public traffic in order to find an clear view from which to snap a picture or two.
A bit further down near the reservoir itself, it was obvious that despite the bright sunshine and blue skies, the strong winds and chilly temperatures had kept the waters frozen over.
It really doesn’t do the view here justice, but I attempted to capture a panoramic shot with my iPhone from atop the small cliff above the water’s edge.
I look forward to driving back soon to this beautiful place. The start of many new adventures to come!