Rockies from Far Away

I was at work and decided that a distant view of the Rocky Mountains is hardly ever done. This is what the first pioneers had a look at after seemingly endless miles of plains. It must have been exciting until they realized that there was no way to get around them. (minus the sunny picture of Denver, a gathering place where many decided that the east side of the Rockies was good enough.)dsc_0009

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Chilling in the Cold

We finally got some snow in Colorado.

Some friends and I decided that it was worth braving the negative degree temperatures to ski some of the back bowls that opened at Breckenridge. We found that the cold weather kept most of the other skiers in the lodge, so we covered our faces and skied as much as possible.

Skiing is great for the feeling you get at the end of the day, when your legs feel like jelly and your face still burns from the icy winds, so any nominal comfort feels fantastic. A heated car can feel like paradise, a slice of pizza is a slice of heaven, and if you can find a hot tub you just might cry real tears of joy. The winter months can be beautiful when you poke your nose into a patch of open space, so I encourage whoever may be reading this article to get outside, make yourself as uncomfortable as possible, have fun, and then come back to the paradise of a comfy chair.

 

Lost and Found on the Mesa Trail

Days like this need to stop coming the week before finals. It began as a nice run along the Mesa trail to enjoy the 70 degree weather in December, and for a while all was going well.

Unlike most days, nobody was out on the trail, and unlike most days, it wasnt freezing cold outside. Everything was joyful with color. As I was taking a moment away from leaping over the various boulders, logs and bushes in the pathway, a little dog ran around the corner without any people following. He ran up to my feet and then dropped down to a sprawl out by my feet. He looked thoroughly exhausted for the reason, I would find out later, was that he had a fond habit of chasing deer.

Being a little tired myself, I decided that we would each sit on the ground, and I would pet his ears a little bit. None of his tags had any numbers, but he did have his rabies shot. This was a reassuring feature for me.

Several people walked by, commenting on how nice my dog was, but none of them could say they were the owner, or where a potential owner might be. I was stuck with him until a couple came running up the trail dressing in everyday clothes, ran up to the dog, past the dog, and kept on going. It looked like they had decided to abandon their dog, but they were the only people who could give me some information. They told me there had been a young man calling the name Malcolm into the woods further down the trail. Now I knew a name. “Okay Malcolm” I said to my new furry friend, who was now sniffing around the bushes, “Time to go.”

Malcolm was a runner. I almost lost him a few times to a deer trail. He was a dedicated hunting animal. As I got closer to the base of Chataqua mountain, people kept telling me I was getting closer.

Eventually I found the owner at the base of the mountain. At Least I had a good reason for being late to class that day.

Boulder Colorado: The Sacrificial Slabs

Boulder Colorado: The Sacrificial Slabs

There is a place where the rocks rise out of the ground like ancient slabs for sacrifice, a place where the prehistoric sounds of dinosaurs can still be heard during the parties that rage into the morning, a place where bears and mountain lions roam through town, and a place where deer don’t care if they get shot. This place is Boulder Colorado, and it is one of the safest places to be extreme.

The Flatirons rise off of their mountains like a set of beginner climbing walls, or a fleet of intergalactic star ships. Because of their less than vertical incline, a climber can lean against the rock any time they are feeling uncomfortable, and remain relatively safe.

This is also a great place to go hiking. Getting close to these rising monoliths of rock is probably more cool than being on them, as there is not so much fear of death, and they are easier to see from a distance. While hiking, a person can get to the top for a view of boulder, and the beginning of the Great Plains, or they can visit the Royal Arch, which frames the rest of the front range in its circular diameter.

There are also a pair of caves near the area, though these are momentarily closed off for the bats white nose syndrome. These bats are undergoing a serious rehab program, and find the activities of hikers distracting to overcoming their addictive habits.

All in all, the flatiron mountains are more than just a place for hiking and wonderment, they are a place that still holds all of the superstitious magic that put the witches on trials,and killed all of the dinosaurs with a meteor.