Monday, August 28, 2017

Another Week in Woodland Park


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Our second week here has been mostly spent dealing with bikes, between getting the mountain bike packed and shipped, and Jim working on the recumbent. We’ve made a couple more trips to Colorado Springs for some new parts and adjustments to the bike. Angletech is a really nice bike shop, and the owner, Kelvin, has been very helpful.

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The shop is packed so full of recumbent trikes and bikes there is barely room to walk through it.

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I fell in love with this full suspension Catrike after test riding it and several others. It’s actually a folding trike, but even so we have no room for it. Besides that there is the $4,100 price tag!

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I came down with a cold last week so I wasn’t feeling up to doing much other than short walks and bike rides from our campground anyway, so it gave Jim time to work on his new bike. And we’ve still had daily thunderstorms to contend with. As Kelvin helped him get the handlebars adjusted properly so Jim wouldn’t hit his shins, they realized both shifter cables and a brake cable were too short. Jim bought new cables and installed them himself, along with new handlebar grips, a wider front tire, and some spare tubes. I think he may finally have it tweaked the way he wants.

One rainy afternoon I dropped Jim off at the theater in Woodland Springs so he could see The Dark Tower. I had never read that Stephen King series, and the movie got terrible reviews, so I did laundry while he watched the show, being the only person in the theater. Oh, and although it was not like the books, he found it entertaining.

We’ve also been to the Woodland Fitness Center a few times, as there is no community recreation center in Woodland Park, but they take Silver Sneakers so it’s free for Jim and $7 for a day pass for me. We can both really tell a difference in our strength since we’ve been working out regularly this summer. Now if we can just keep at it.

It’s been nice having the pleasant scenery of Manitou Lake for our walks.

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Although there are a couple lodges, we saw no beavers.

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The mushrooms grow big around here with all the rain.

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This cute black Abert’s squirrel was enjoying one for dinner. These squirrels are also known as tassel-eared squirrels, for the tufts of fur on their ears, but they lose the tassels in the summer.

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I felt better after a few days and was ready to get out for a real hike, so we drove a few miles south of Divide to The Crags, a hike we did when we were here in 2010. I’m glad we repeated that trail as it’s a really nice one, and neither of us remembered it. Had I not looked back on the blog we would never have known we were there before.

At the trailhead we were greeted by this shot-up restroom sign, just on the women’s side.

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The trail splits off in about 3/4 of a mile if you care to make the trek to Pike’s Peak.

The Crags Trail

The previous day we had pea-sized hail for a few minutes at the campground, and found the forest at the trailhead to be covered in it. An employee cleaning the restroom told us it hailed for two hours there. It was 63 degrees at the start of our hike at almost 10,000’ but it still hadn’t all melted under the shade of the trees.

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After about a half mile of steady uphill through the woods, the trail levels out and opens onto meadows and views.

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There were still quite a few flowers around, including this yarrow.

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And these beautiful blue mountain gentian.

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We haven’t seen much in the way of wildlife this summer in Colorado, but we were entertained by the squawking of this young Clark’s nutcracker awaiting some food from a parent.

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The last half mile of the trail gains the most elevation as the rocky outcrops come into view.

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Lots of twisted bristlecone pines dot the landscape.

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This trunk reminded us of a boat anchor.

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View of the Catamount Reservoirs that supply water to the city of Colorado Springs.

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It was just beautiful up there. It’s about 2.5 miles to the top, with 900’ of climbing, ending up at 10,800’. Other than the elevation gain the trail is smooth most of the way, a nice change from the many rocky trails we’ve hiked in Colorado.

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Pretty obvious why they named it The Crags.

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Next stop, Salida, one of our favorite small Colorado towns, where we hope to hang out until the Labor Day holiday is over.

9 comments:

  1. That is a sweet trike, but they are definitely expensive space eaters. Interesting to see hail that stayed on the ground over night. Beautiful views along your hike - those crags are wonderful.

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  2. $4,000 for a bike 😱
    Did you check Walmart on the way home?

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  3. Hmmmm, I loved reading the Dark Tower series, didn't know there was a movie out! That Crags trail looks awesome. We had some intense hail while staying in CO Springs a few years ago...noisy and scary in the RV!

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  4. What a beautiful squirrel!! I've never seen one like that!! Looks like someone was taking their hostility out on a women's sign or taking shooting practice!!
    Beautiful hike!!
    Glad you're feeling better!!

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  5. Your hiking and working out sure shows in how fit you look on that trike. Great picture. Amazing mushrooms. Thanks for the shoe, I would never have understood just HOW big they are. Really fine looking hike. I just love the rocks, the wildflowers and the amazingly blue skies. The hail, not so much. We got hit in Oklahoma and Ruby had dimples all over.

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  6. I bet you lose a couple of hours every time you stop at Angletech :). Can't wait to bike Zion's bike path and corridor and see how Jim's new bike plays out...

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  7. That is one huge mushroom!!! Glad you put your shoe next to it for perspective. Love, love this trial!! Boy do I miss my rocks! These are really cool rocks. Glad you are feeling better:) We won't be doing all those hikes we missed in Bend because of snow:( We can get out early to beat the high temps, but the smoke has become almost unbearable. Yesterday when three new fires started, the smoke in the park became so thick we had to stay inside. The smell inside is so bad it woke me in the night. We expected to get up to see the park ablaze. We'd leave but would only get a 50% voucher for the rest of our very expensive stay here at Crown Villa. Oh, well, could be much worse:)

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  8. My goodness Gayle, you do have expensive taste...hehe
    They ran a movie for ONE person. They must have thought Jim to be very important.
    Yikes...that is a huge mushroom.
    Beautiful hike. I love that boat anchor tree.

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  9. Wow amazing photos! Love checking out your blog, thanks for the share!
    Gregg

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