Colorado, Travels

Colorado Destinations: Pawnee National Grassland

The lands of northeastern Colorado have been inhabited for at least 12,000 years, originally by nomadic hunters. More recently, these lands were the home of the Arapaho and Cheyenne, who were forcibly removed in the 1880s to allow white settlers to establish homesteads and farm the land. As settlers soon learned, though, this shortgrass prairie… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Pawnee National Grassland

Colorado

Colorado Day Hikes: Helms Lake (the winter version)

As I’ve spent more time in Colorado and gained more knowledge and confidence in my winter hiking abilities, I’ve begun to push myself harder. I’ve tackled longer and more challenging hikes, and been rewarded with gorgeous snow-covered views and relative solitude. But I’ve also established some limits on just how much I’m willing to challenge… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Helms Lake (the winter version)

Colorado

Colorado Summits: Greyrock Mountain

The wild fluctuations and extremes of mountain weather is something that can be hard to grasp, particularly for someone who hasn’t spent much time in them. Hell, I’ve spent most of my life living near and exploring the mountains, and I still underestimate them from time to time. Mountains do weird and intense things to… Continue reading Colorado Summits: Greyrock Mountain

Colorado

Colorado Day Hikes: Burning Bear Trail

The Guanella Pass area is moose territory. So when Pat and I headed up Burning Bear Trail one January morning, adjacent to an expanse of willows, I was on the lookout. Just a few minutes up the trail we encountered a fellow hiker who informed us there were four of them just ahead in the… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Burning Bear Trail

Colorado, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Black Lake (the winter version)

Exactly one week after conquering Sky Pond in the winter – my last hike of 2020 – I found myself back at Glacier Gorge trailhead, this time with my friend Kaylyn, for my first hike of 2021! We were fighting cold gusty winds as we readied ourselves to head up the other half of the… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Black Lake (the winter version)

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Day Hikes: Chair Rocks

Have you ever walked along a trail mere minutes before a car went flying off the road and landed on said trail, right where you’d just walked? No? Me neither…  until December 2020. My friend Savannah and I set out early one Saturday morning, the landscape beautifully dusted with snow from an overnight storm. The… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Chair Rocks

Colorado, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Deer Mountain

It’s not every day that you hike a trail and find yourself nearly face-to-face with its namesake animal. But such was the case on Deer Mountain. (Better than coming face-to-face with a bear on Bear Peak, I suppose…) There were four of them, and they couldn’t have been more than 15 feet (4.5 m) away.… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Deer Mountain

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Day Hikes: Loch Lomond

Are you singing the Loch Lomond song in your head now? Me too. In fact, it was stuck in my head the rest of the day after doing this hike. It’s in my head again now as I’m writing this. But despite the Scottish origin of the song, today’s hike is not located in Scotland.… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Loch Lomond

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Day Hikes: Mohawk Lakes

The Spruce Creek Trail to Mohawk Lakes is one of the most popular hikes near Breckenridge, Colorado. Generally, we try to avoid extremely busy trails such as this one. But some hikes are pretty enough that you just have to suck it up and brace yourself for the crowds. We hoped that arriving by 7:45am… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Mohawk Lakes

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Twin Sisters Peak

2020 was a rough year for all of us, Rocky included. First, the park was closed for weeks in the spring due to the pandemic. Then it closed again for 15 days in October and November due to forest fires. In all, nearly 30,000 acres of the park burned. It was absolutely devastating to watch… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Twin Sisters Peak