Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cub Creek Trailhead, Evergreen Colorado; A Hike through the Pine Forest and getting into the spirit!

Single aspen in a field, with pine all around
It's been about a week and a half since I hiked North Table Mountain and I had been promising the dogs all week I'd take them; Friday came and I had to fulfill my promise.  Lately, I haven't really had the desire to hike, maybe it's because the winter is here and there are no more colorful aspen leaves, the high peaks aren't very accessible or safe (by myself in the winter), and our 10th peak over 14,000 feet late this summer was Mt. Elbert; Colorado's tallest mountain and the second tallest in the continental USA.  So, I am kind of feeling like what else is out there? And what can I do in the winter that will be new and interesting when the higher peaks aren't accessible safely?  
I forced myself to get into the car, and by 9:30am I was heading up I-70 toward Evergreen and thinking to myself that I wasn't really in the 'holiday' spirit this year and I didn't really want to hike.  Then I thought of my former co-worker who used to listen to KOZI 101.1 all through the holiday season in our small office and they play only Christmas music at this time of year.  While I was very sick of it by the time Christmas rolled around, it was nice now and then, so I turned it on only to hear some cheezy Gloria Estefan songs and I nearly changed it but some jazz Christmas music came on, and suddenly I was getting excited for the upcoming holidays and for the hike. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

North Table Mountain, Golden Colorado, A New Jeffco Trailhead!

Lone tree on the top of Table Mountain;
It has been a week or so since I have made it out to the trails due to my business picking up for the holiday season; and while I am glad for the increase in business, I miss hiking!  Even though I didn't have much time last week, I made sure to get outside at least one day and I combined it with a photo shoot for my new hiking cowl The Peak, getting two things done at once! 
I have been eager to hit up North Table Mountain because Jefferson County Open Space has been busy creating a new trailhead with lots of parking, a bathroom and even a trail map with mileage to take with while hiking.   There are two loops on the mesa, and a couple of other side trails for a total 7+ miles of hiking and biking paths.  Now, this trail has always been on North Table Mountain, but it was never an "official" trailhead with bathrooms or maintained trails.  This hike will take you all over the top of North Table Mountain with views of the Flatirons, City of Denver, Golden and Applewood.  There are numerous animals on Table Mountain as well, so keep your eyes peeled for deer, coyotes, bunnies, foxes and even elk; all which I have seen at one time or another on this mountain! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A hike to Ice Lake and two waterfalls, San Juan Mountains, Silverton Colorado

Looking back at the mountainside
The last hike we did on our San Juan road trip was a hike that started next to the S. Mineral Campground where we were staying, called the hike to Ice Lake.  There was no mileage on the sign, so Josh and I had no idea how far this hike would be, and the rain was obviously going to come in, but we continued to hike up in hopes to reach the lake anyway.  After a short while of hiking, the trail crosses over the river and we completely missed the left turn across the river and we continued up the steep side of the mountainside next to the waterfall.  We then realized this trail was a short social trail just to view the waterfall, which is one of the bigger waterfalls in Colorado that I have seen.  I snapped numerous waterfall pics and then we hiked back down the steep mountainside to find the trail that we had lost.  It didn't take long before we realized that the trail crosses the larger creek/river and we skipped across the rocks to get to the other side. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

South Mineral Campground, Silverton Colorado camping, Road Trip

Morning sun on the dew at campsite; on etsy
The last two nights of our road trip were to be spent somewhere between Silverton and Ouray or in Ouray at a campground or campsite.  But since we had such a hard time finding campgrounds/sites during the beginning of the trip, I was concerned were doomed to spending another day in the car.  We drove from our campsite that we vacated earlier in the day and headed north on 550 through the dramatic town of Silverton with the huge mountains surrounding the teeny town and continued up the million dollar highway (550) to find a campsite.  Just past Silverton we noticed a national forest campground sign pointing us to turn left onto Co Rd 7, we decided to camp down this road, no matter what, just to get us out of the car!  While the scenery on dirt road CO Rd 7 was pretty, it wasn't amazing like Colorado's scenery can be.  The road follows Lime Creek and there are numerous dispersed campsites along the road and beside the river; there are also two small free campgrounds on this road just after your turn.  However, none of the sites looked good to us, so we continued down the bumpy, but easily drivable, dirt road past a fork in the road, and ended at the South Mineral Campground.  By this time it was getting dark fast, the campground was pretty nice, settled in the valley between the mountains and next to the river.  Many of the campsites were under the ponderosa pine, other sites more out in the field; there were 3 loops in the large campground, and the bathrooms were open for use in mid-October, which was a big plus for me.  We found a campsite in the last loop near the front of the campground, there were two other campers in other loops at the campground, but it was far from crowded and we were happy to have that solitude.