Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Winter Hike In Stanley Canyon

Winter Hikes are my favorite. We took a hike up Stanley Canyon, then once there took the access road that leads another 2 miles up to a set of microwave towers that serve the city of Colorado Springs. In the winter the dogs seem to have much more stamina and energy, I don't have to carry as much water, and normally it keeps the amateurs at home. I don't mind other people on the trail, I just mind the ones that try to do a hike like this in sandals while carrying a lap dog (that really happened). For the most part today was a great day. Met one family from Alaska, they were loving the hike and were well prepared. There was one guy that was hiking with his pit bull---really, that dog has no business on a hike. It was obviously struggling, was sliding all over the place and my biggest problem--it was not leashed, nor did it have on a collar or any harness. We got by it okay, but I made a mental note that I might want to take a tazer on these public areas. People don't think, they do things that just don't make sense, hence, I like the hikes were only experienced people will go.
This was a great day for the hike. Clear weather, temperatures varied from 50 degrees in the sun to about 30 in the shade. You have to be prepared for all conditions. I came across one group ascending around 1:30 pm in sweat shirts. Winter hikes need to be done early in the day when the sun is high. There were portions of the trail where I had to take off my sunglasses because the sun was way below the horizon and the tall pine trees made it very dark.
I came across some of the tallest Aspen trees I have ever seen. I am a Colorado Native, so I thought I have seen it all here in Colorado, but these had nearly every other grove beat--even in the Aspen/Vail area. These trees were huge! Mental Note: Get back here next fall.....
So here is one reason why I like the winter hikes: the dogs love them. Bridie is seen here taking a snow bath on the top of the mountain were we hiked.

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