After a day to get acclimated in our new surroundings, we wanted to get out and “tromp in the woods” as we call hiking. Matt’s back was still hurting but felt better if he moved slowly and cautiously. We are only about an 1/8 of a mile from the road leading to Ute Heart Trail. It didn’t look too strenuous on the map so we headed off to check it out.
It has been cool overnight here (we’ve learned we don’t want to spend the winter in this trailer in the North country for sure!) and it was a lovely, sunny morning though still a bit brisk. The Colorado sun, especially at this altitude, is quite warm. The somewhat rocky trail dropped us into a short descent approaching the rapids of the Bear River. The River is running COLD, fast and full with all the late snow this year but there was a nice sturdy bridge for us so no forging the stream this time! As we crossed, the trail started up a gradual grade and crossed a creek at the first bend. We continued the uphill grade for most of the hike. There is a beautiful level spot as the trail wanders through a large whispering aspen grove. The whole grove is soothing but about 1/2 mile in the fresh young grasses are interspersed with startling colors of the wild flowers – purple lupines, yellow daisies, white blood root, three variations of wild sweet pea, dandelions, lilac and purple columbines, Queen Anne’s lace (very early!) and a number of others that I was not familiar with. It was such a delight! The Lord has given me such a wide variety of flowers to enjoy with no watering and no weeding.
We followed the trail approximately a mile up and stopped for a snack, re-hydration and evaluation. Was it time to turn around? This being the first real hike of the season and Matt not wanting to stress his back we opted for the safe choice – not like the next hike – and started down. The pictures of us are at the turnaround point. It is the first real opening in the grove for those of you (Jamie?) who might want to come and take this hike.
On the way down we stopped for a photo op of some flowers. While I was focusing on a flower Matt said, “There’s a hummer on your right.” Those little buggers move so fast! By the time I would focus, he would move. I may post the one picture I got out of 20 or so, when it is cropped. The hummingbird sighting was “icing on the hike” so to speak. Matt did really well and it was a great primer for our next hike! To be posted soon!!