The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Sunshine and Snow

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 in Colorado
Sunshine and Snow

Last week, Phil and I went for a hike in the Lumpy Ridge area. This was our first hike of the New Year and the first time this winter that we ventured out onto proper trails that were covered in snow, even if it was just an inch or two. We had no intention of going on a long hike—our goal was simple: to get outside and enjoy the views. At most, we hiked a mile or two. We didn’t even make it up to Gem Lake. Instead we hiked the loop formed by the Lumpy Ridge Trail and the Needles Trail.

Afterwards, we drove a quick circuit through Rocky Mountain National Park—in through the Fall River Entrance Station, past Sheep Lakes, Horseshoe Park, and Deer Mountain, then out the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station (or in this case Exit Station). It was a special treat to view the park in winter, smartly decorated in some of the whitest snow I’ve ever seen. As the shadows of the trees grew long and the park disappeared in our rear view mirror, we headed over to Ed’s Cantina for a late lunch. When our bellies were full, we drove back home. A quick excursion but so wonderfully refreshing.

Twin Owls, Lumpy Ridge.
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Assortment

Blue Bird Loop
Blue Bird Loop
At one point the trail disappears onto an exposed stretch of granite. I continue to walk for few minutes across the rock and come to the other side. The giant slab ends at a steep drop-off.
Staying Cool
Staying Cool
The Windy City sure lived up to its name today. All day long the wind howled and puffed hefty gusts of cold air from the northwest. Cottonball clouds sped across a cobalt sky—they collided and blended together and by late afternoon the sky was leaden.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens