Where’s Waldo?

Unless you have a case of blindness you’ve noticed that I “winterized” the look and feel of the site. This seems appropriate since it looks more wintery around here at the moment. Ronda twisted my arm this weekend and we went hiking. I wasn’t overly excited by the prospect since all I have to put on my feet are my trail runners, which are awesome in warmer weather but not worth a hoot on icy surfaces. I’ve put off buying any “gear” as we have more important things to spend our limited funds on at the moment.

So… off we went to Waldo Canyon which is just west of the Springs up Hwy 24 a bit. Abby was thrilled to no end as she has been stuck in the house quite alot lately. The early portion of the trail climbs up along the highway so there is a noise factor but fairly quickly you turn the corner and head in towards Rampart Range and the traffic noise disappears. The sun was shining and temps were in the low 50’s with a mild breeze now and then. The trail was anywhere from 50-100% snow and ice covered but was well packed down. There were already 8 or 10 cars in the parking lot when we got there and it was full when we returned.

My shoes did not turn out to be quite the disaster I was thinking and I got along pretty well. The trail winds around a bit and after a few miles descends down into the canyon which is fairly broad at the bottom. There are plenty of trees and boulders to keep things interesting. The trail splits and forms a 3.5 mile loop at that point. We decided it would take too long to hike the whole loop so after consulting the map decided to take the more arduous right fork which climbed up to a very nice scenic overlook. We went off-trail aways, stomping through some knee-deep snow to get to some exposed rocks out on a point.

Abby developed an interesting plunge-leap-plunge technique which got her past the deeper parts. She was not about to be left behind and gets annoyed when she is not “out-in-front”. We relaxed on the rocks, soaked up some sunshine and had a little snack before we turned back. The return trip was uneventful. The picture of the snow-covered Pikes Peak at the top of the website was taken along the trail.

It was good to get out into nature again and I have to remember not to get complacent.

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