Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nice Hike Ruined by Carless Bikers

Today I took the girls up Green Mountain for a hike.  I like this hike because few hikers are ever on the trail and the ones that are, are serious and respect the environment.  Few know of the trails.  Today I found one of the shortcut trails to the top was vandalized by mountain bikers.  Trees were cut down, rocks pulled from the trail and moved (you know what that does?  It starts new erosion).  You could see freshly cut trees, branches and large rocks dug up and moved.  There was the tale tale sign of mountain bike trails.   This is a path that needs to be gently used, they now created a new potential wash out.  This is a National Forest where cutting trees and moving large rocks is forbidden.  Sad.  Then when I got to the top there were what I call the "Beer Guzzling, Red Neck, Outdoorsmen" on their ATVs tearing up the mountain some more.  Again this is an area that is clearly posted "NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES".  This was a dad in his 4X4 Ford and his two kids following in their ATVs.  From the looks of it they all needed to get out an walk, they all looked like they were pushing 300lbs.   Why do people have to tear up the environment for their own selfish enjoyment?  I took a few pictures of the area to remind me what it looks like before these idiots ruin it all.  With all the rain we had last year, there is a lot of dead vegetation---those hot exhausts will surly set off a fire...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring is here--well almost

So this weekend I took the girls out for a 5 mile easy hike in the Spruce Mountain Open Space.  This is a nice Sunday afternoon hike, the total elevation rise is around 400 feet so its not too steep. The Douglas County Open Space Program was created in 1994 with the passage of a sixth-of-a-cent sales and use tax.  The Open Space keeps a nice separation between Denver and Colorado Springs.  The top picture is from the top of Spruce Mountain looking back toward Castle Rock.  You could almost film an old western movie out there as it still looks like you should be expecting to see a herd of Buffalo or an Indian Tribe crossing the plains.  Spruce Mountain is just west of I-25 prior to Monument "pass".   A few days before this hike we were wandering around Green Mountain over by the Academy and I could see the Crocus were just beginning to come out.  They were in full bloom at Spruce Mountain.  There is this little blue Crocus that comes up here every spring.  I transplanted one to my backyard and it bloomed for several years until other plants edged it out.  The rules for the open space are pretty strict--dogs are to be on leash--no exceptions.  This is the third time I have been on this trail, up until this hike I was the only one leasing the dogs.   I usually don't lease Bridie, she stays 10-20 feet from me at all times and comes back when I call her.  She stays away from strangers, but I did leash her when people came by.  I think the dogs like to get to the top of the mountains.  Once we get there they love to stare off into the distance.  Zamboni was watching the chipmunks, probably was thinking they would be a good snack.
This is a good hike if your from out of town, just want an easy go of it, don't want to drive too far and don't want to mess with the crowds.