Monday, February 6, 2012

Snow, finally

It's been one of the warmest, driest winters ever here in Colorado. I haven't looked at the data, but it feels like it. So I'll make that statement as though it's authoritatively true.

But all that came to an end on Friday when we got blanketed by a nice two-day snowstorm. Which made Sunday a perfect day to get out and enjoy some proper winter recreation. On the recommendation of a friend, my snowshoes and I headed out to the Hessie trail head at Eldora. It was a beautiful day, and the snow was great.

Indian Peaks Wilderness Area

Technically, the hike began well up the road from the trail head, since the road wasn't plowed beyond town. I made my way to where the Woodland Lake and the Devil's Thumb trails part ways, and explored both branches a little bit. On each I found myself part-way up some really steep off-trail slopes that I couldn't quite climb in the deep, unpacked snow. So grudgingly I turned back. On the return, I stopped by Lost Lake, just a little way off of the main trail. I sat on a stump, eating a snack and taking in the wonderful scenery.

Lost Lake

Contrasted against the bright blue sky, everything was muted tones of white, green, gray, and brown - colors that excite me in winter as surely as the more vibrant shades of other seasons.

On my way back toward the truck, I stepped to the side of the trail to let a couple of in-bound skiers pass. One of them said, "If you'll excuse my saying so, you look really happy."

I hadn't really noticed how much I was beaming, I guess, but being out on the trail for a few hours has that effect on me. "I am," I replied. "It's a great day to be out here."

Hessie Trail

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