Saturday, September 26, 2015

A very interesting hike in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Have you ever had one of those days that doesn't turn out at all how you expected it would?  Well I sure had one of those days, today.  I woke up this morning knowing that I had to go hiking.  The weather is amazing, the aspen trees are so beautiful, I love to hike.  There were so many reasons for me to go hiking.  Since Steve is out of town, mountain biking with the guys, I had to decide where to go - alone.  As all of you know, we hike all the time, and we hike together.  So....  today I decided to go to Camp Dick, near Peaceful Valley and hike to Red Deer Lake.  We have done it several times and I knew there would be plenty of people on the trail.  

I got to the trailhead at 10 am and there was still plenty of parking.  The day was perfect - blue sky, sunny, gold aspen leaves, warm.  Perfect!  I started hiking and was a little surprised at how few people I saw on the trail.  I was mesmerized by the yellow, orange and red Fall colors.  And, as you all know, I take LOTS of photos.  I was so excited, because I was alone, and could stop and take as many pictures as I wanted.  ( Steve wasn't saying/thinking "oh my gosh, she is stopping AGAIN to take another picture"!)  So as I was hiking, alone, I had lots of time to think, meditate, pray.....whatever you would call it.....  and I decided I wanted to start writing my blog AGAIN!  This has been a real start/stop blog.  When we traveled SO much this summer, I really decided I wanted to start doing my blog, again.  
So, as I was thinking all of these thoughts and deciding what and how I wanted to write when I came home today, I really had it all figured out.  And, since I am not really a writer and would much rather just post pictures to my Facebook page, I was pretty excited that I had come up with an interesting blog post. 

By now, I have walked at least 5 miles and I was trying to figure out how much further it was to Red Deer Lake.  I was hungry, so I ate a granola bar and continued up the trail.  I passed the Indian Peaks Wilderness boundary sign and glanced at it.  (and took a picture, of course).  I continued to hike and take pictures.  When I was almost to the place where the trail leaves the Middle St. Vrain Creek and continues up to Red Deer Lake and Buchanan Pass, I heard this guy yelling.  He was really yelling.  But, I couldn't hear what he was saying, so I stopped.  I saw him and then his dog came running towards me.  By now, I could see and smell smoke!  At about the same time I hear the guy yelling, another guy came up behind me with his dog.  This guy had started hiking about the same time I had.  He got really upset and wanted to know why "guy #1" has a campfire!  And he was really upset!  By then, I realize that the first guy is yelling, because there is a fire, and he needs help trying to put it out!  I throw my pack and my camera off and go running over to him with my little 23.7 oz Arrowhead water bottle!  I am sure the guy is thinking that I am crazy!  Well?????   Meanwhile, "guy #2" is convinced that the fire was started by "guy # 1".  Wow, was that weird!  So they are yelling at each other and I am thinking, "come on guys/ we need to get this fire out, NOW".  Oh, and they both had dogs.  We had to calm the dogs down and then we madly started pouring water on the fire, which was spreading!  Luckily, the fire was close to the creek, so we just kept running over to the creek and filling our bottles and then running back to the fire to try to get it out.  Many trips to the creek and back!  Finally, "guy #2" gets me his nalgene bottle out of his pack and hands it to me and tells me to use that, too!  So, Now I have two small bottles!  Then, here come more backpackers, a couple, and we yell at them to help us. I stayed for about an hour, throwing water on the fire.  There was a small pine tree that had caught on fire, and we were trying to get that out.  We were all amazed at how hot and how quickly, the fire was spreading.  Finally, I realized that I was the only one of us that was doing a day hike.   They all had backpacks and were spending the night.  I finally said, "I think I need to go back and report this.".....  oh yes, that would be a good idea.  

I said "goodbye' to all my new friends and started jogging/ running back down the trail.  But, I had 6 miles to get back.  All the way back down the trail, I kept thinking......  Cell phones don't work, we have NO way to report this fire, Steve isn't with me, so we don't have the DeLorme inreach, etc.  SO, I finally get back to Camp DIck and both campground hosts are off duty!  I still don't have cell phone service, so then I have to decide - "do I drive all the way down Highway 7 until I get service, or do I drive toward Nederland?  So, I drove to Nederland.  Oh my gosh!  I could not believe how many people were on the to Peak to Peak highway taking pictures of aspen leaves!!!!!  I called  Roosevelt National Forest, but the are not OPEN on the weekend.  I finally called the Boulder Sheriff and talked to a very nice dispatcher, who relayed the message on.  As I got to Lyons, I had a voicemail on my phone from the Allenspark Fire Department.  I had to tell them where the fire was, my name, when we found it, etc.  

SO...what I learned from all of this -

Always have the Delorme OR Steve with me.  :-) !
Don't build a fire in the wilderness, especially when the fire danger is SO high!  
It really is bad, that our cell phones don't work "out there"!!!!
I really do believe that if it weren't for the five of us, running and throwing water on the fire, the outcome could have been really bad!!
The other thing I kept thinking, over and over-  I was truly mad at the people who had built a fire, illegally, and how careless they were.  I kept thinking they were "stupid", but then kept thinking what we say to the grandkids.  "People aren't stupid, but people can do really stupid things!"  And these people did something really stupid, and the results could have been much worse, if we hikers/backpackers had not been there to put their fire out.

So, I will end this now....  I never made it to Red Deer Lake and that made me a little sad!  But.....  I took lots of pictures on the way up the trail, before all the excitement began....  

And,  tomorrow, I am headed back with my sister to view and see and take pictures of all the beautiful aspen on the Peak to Peak highway.  Maybe, we will see some of you out there!  

And.... for those of you on Facebook, I will probably post some of today's pictures! :-) !  

PLEASE  NO fires!  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

We love Colorado, Arizona and Utah!

Our two week trip in April to pick up the Lazy Daze in Arizona and bring it home to Colorado was amazing!  We loved going to Coyote Buttes South and then to White Pocket.  We will be going back to both places!  We ended the trip in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.  Capitol Reef is another one of our favorite  places!  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Arizona- Reconnecting with great friends!

Steve & I flew down to Arizona on Sunday, April 12th.  We came down to get the Lazy Daze and head back to Colorado. We are really liking this new life!  Our house is in Colorado and we travel in our "house on wheels" - our 1999 Lazy Daze class C motor home.  We have spent most of this week at the campround at Deadhorse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, AZ.  We owned a house here in Cottonwood for 7 years and sold it in 2013.  We loved spending time here, but decided we wanted to travel to more places in the Lazy Daze.  Now we can come back to Cottonwood and spend time with great friends, hiking and biking.  We have had a fantastic week here and now we are leaving to head to Lee's Ferry.  We have a permit to hike in Coyote Buttes South on Tuesday and Wednesday.  We are looking forward to exploring a whole new area of Arizona!  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Buena Vista, Colorado

Buena Vista, Colorado

Steve & I decided (very last minute) to go over to Buena Vista for a "very short break" from his very busy tax season schedule.  The weather was SO nice that we decided to try out our "new" Toyota 4 Runner camper.  Steve built a platform in the back of the 4 Runner and we thought we would test it out.  We drove over to Buena Vista on Friday, March 27th and came home the next day,  It is only about a 2 3/4 hour drive from Longmont to Buena Vista. We have been going over to Buena Vista and Salida for many years.  At one point, we even owned some property in Mesa Antero and thought we woud build a house there and retire.  Now that we have decided that we like to travel so much in the Lazy Daze and camp and backpack, we have changed our minds about retiring to another town in Colorado. 

Our 36 hour getaway was wonderful!  We arrived in Buena Vista about noon on Friday and ate a picnic lunch and then hiked up the Midland trail from town.  This trail is one that we have done on our mountain bikes several times. Since we were hiking, we didn't take the bike trail, but ended up hiking straight up from the Arkansas river.  We went to the "top" and then had amazing views to the west looking down on BV and at all the Collegiate Peaks.  It was a beautiful, warm, Spring day.  That afternoon/evening we soaked at the Cottonwood Hot Springs.  We have gone there several times before.  We decided that it is much quieter if you go there during the week and not during Spring break. We ate dinner at the Eddyline Restaurant at South Main. The food and the beer were great!  We will definitely go back there!  Our biggest surprise of the day was driving down to Hecla Junction to camp and the campground was closed!  We always camp there. I guess they are renovating the campground.  We ended up driving back to Ruby Mountain campground.  SO..... the consensus on sleeping in the back of the 4 Runner is that we HAVE to get a softer pad.  Steve bought a gymnastics/wrestling mat and it is way too hard!  Well, at least we only had to sleep on it one night!  We have several camping trips planned for this summer when we will be sleeping in it many nights. 

On Saturday, we woke up and hiked right from the campground.  We did a loop hike in the Brown's Canyon Wilderness study area.  It was another beautiful hike.  We ate lunch at the Arkansas river and watched lots of fishermen and kayakers and rafters.  

All in all, a very relaxing, busy two days "away" from home.  It was a nice break for Steve.  We are looking forward to April 12th when we head back down to Arizona and pick up our Lazy Daze and take two weeks to come home.  We have lots of hiking and mountain biking and camping planned for that trip!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rabbit Mountain, Lyons, Colorado

Hall Ranch, Lyons, Colorado

Colorado snowshoe hikes

We do have the best of both worlds.  When we are in Arizona in the Lazy Daze, we get to hike and mountain bike in the desert.  When we are back home in Colorado, we hike and mountain bike in the summer and snowshoe in the winter.  We get to see so many new and diifferent places and sometimes we go back to our favorite places over and over again.  Living in Estes Park for 25 years, we hiked many miles in Rocky Mountain National Park and in Indian Peaks Wilderness.  Now that we live in the "valley" in Longmont, we still spend time in both RMNP and Indian Peaks, but we now also hike closer to home.  We spend quite alot of time hiking around Lyons and Boulder.  

Last weekend, we snowshoed at Hall Ranch in Lyons.  It had snowed quite a lot, so we defintiely needed our snowshoes.  We parked at the Antelope Road trailhead and snowshoed about 6 miles round trip.  It was SO pretty, peacefull, quiet and no other people were out there. We shared the quiet with the deer.  We always see deer when we are at Hall Ranch.  

Today I went to Rabbit Mountain in Lyons.  We enjoy hiking and snowshoeing at Rabbit Mountain.  It is close to our house, easy to get there, lots of parking, beautiful views.  Lots of people go there with their dogs.  Today I hiked out to the Little Thompson overlook.  That trail doesn't seem to be as well used as the other trails.  I was the only one at the overlook. It was another quiet, peaceful, beautiful hike.  

As much as I wish I could be in Arizona these next two months to see all the flowers and cactus blooming, I have to be content to be in beautiful, wintry, Colorado until April 15th.  One of these days we will have the ability to be gone from home more, but until then I will have to be content to spend time being outside wherever we are.....  For now, Colorado is where we will be in the winter.