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.