A Golden Saturday

2016-06-11_Golden

Golden is a beautiful gem in Colorado.  This weekend took me to wander Lookout Mountain and the historic Buffalo Bill Museum.

2016-06-11 Golden Mtn Views

A note to anyone also deciding to visit on a Saturday: Be extremely cautious of the numerous cyclists who take the same, winding route up the mountain at 20mph with you.

2016-06-11 Golden Mtn Views 2

The views are classic Colorado at the top. However when you’re also looking for the perfect mountain peak photo, it seems there’s always a pine tree just where you point your lens.

2016-06-11 Denver

Next to the museum is an overlook location that you can see nearly all of Golden as well as downtown Denver and its surrounding cities, including the haze common on hot days.

2016-06-11 Golden Markers

The Cody gravesite sits a very short walk from the museum.

2016-06-11 Golden Marker

The museum was an interesting walk-through and displays several historic and colorful artifacts from Cody’s life. Photos, swords, rifles, pistols, costumes and a plethora of accounts of his countless ventures.

Snow Hiking in Boulder

IMG_0123

The NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) Trailhead off of Mesa Trail.

IMG_0176

The Mesa Trail system in the Boulder, CO area didn’t disappoint. Craggy mountain vistas, views of the city of Boulder, birds, spring growth, icicles and stunning evergreen forests abounded.

IMG_0212

The really great part about hiking in the Flatirons is that within the first 10-15 minutes of walking, you’re already seeing fantastic mountain views and photo opportunities from the trail.

At this elevation, just go ahead and keep the 45SPF with your trail bag.

A curious little fellow singing to the sun.

IMG_0185

The trails began out of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) property where we parked. It’s an easy drive from just about anywhere to get here and parking was plenty.

I’ve also found that while everyone is usually focused on their feet, it goes a long way to be friendly and thank those who stand to the side for you, offer a comment about spots to tackle with caution you just passed or where there’s an awesome camera shot ahead.

I’m surprised by how much plant life continues to flourish in the mountains under and through the snow as the seasons change.

IMG_0249

Admittedly, I was a bit worried that I would struggle with the winter out here and possibly find myself not enjoying it. But I love winter so far here! And for me this includes still getting out on weekends when to enjoy the gorgeous country that is just a few miles down the road.

Don’t Forget to Look Back Sometimes

Sunday morning, I was treated to my first hike in Eldorado Canyon State Park.

2016-02-07 Canyon State Park 01

It was a perfect day to be outdoors.

2016-02-07 Canyon State Park 03

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.

2016-02-07 Canyon State Park 02

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.

2016-02-07 Canyon State Park 07

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.

2016-02-07 Canyon State Park 05

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.

2016-02-07 Canyon State Park 06

We were treated to open vistas, crystalline creeks partially frozen over and thick evergreen trees that lined wandering foot paths.

2016-02-07 Canyon State Park 04

As we neared the end of the trail, I turned and was treated to the best view of the day.

2016-02-07 Canyon State Park 08

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.