First DITL of 2016! Yay! It was the first day back to school for Lyle, and my first hike of 2016.
Well, there’s nothing flattering about this photo but I had to include it b/c I love how sweet he looks lying next to me. Many nights he ends up in my bed snuggled up against me. I will miss this when he doesn’t do it any longer.
The first of many out-the-window shots of this DITL.
I drop off Lyle and a neighbor friend in this little parking lot, then they walk over that bridge and onto the school playground. So easy.
Drove past Chautauqua and the Flatirons as I headed up a couple miles into the mountains to hike.
This is probably my favorite road in Boulder (is it weird to have a favorite road??) because it’s so dramatic as you start up the steep hill overlooking the city.
Trailhead…just me and one other car.
I was planning to hike the loop trail counter-clockwise.
It descended pretty quickly into a canyon. This stream was only frozen on top–I could still hear water gurgling past underneath the ice.
Then the trail went up back out of the canyon.
Less snowy as I neared the top of the trail
Then I got to a place where the trail split and there was no trail marker. Very confusing, but I picked the trail I thought was the loop trail and kept going.
However, from this point on, things got confusing. I followed the trail to something that stopped looking like a trail. So I backtracked and took a different trail that went off of it, but after a ways that stopped looking right, too. So then I went back to the first one and tried it again.
At this point I was wandering around in circles. There were footprints from others but they didn’t go anywhere. Someone else who was as confused as I was?
So I decided I needed to just hike back the way I came, instead of getting lost trying to find the rest of the loop. Then on my way back I passed yet another trail (also unmarked) so I thought, “This must be it!” So I followed that for a ways…
Until I got to this. Another split. Neither of these really looked like trail under the snow, from what I could tell, and I had no idea where either led, so at this point I gave up on trying to actually complete the loop. I was worried I’d get lost for long enough to delay me getting home in time for Lyle to get home from school. Frustrating, but since I wasn’t sure at all that I was even on the loop trail anymore, I didn’t think I should chance it.
Then as I headed back I got to the original split, which I’d forgotten about, and I am now pretty certain that THAT’s where I got off trail. But I was worried about time at that point, so I just kept going back the way I’d come.
Nearing the end (beginning).
Now there were more cars at the trailhead. Even though I didn’t get around the whole loop, I still hiked 7.7 miles, with 1575ft of elevation gain. (How many of those miles were wandering around lost?!? I don’t want to know.)
Switchbacks on the way back down.
My cats usually come down to greet us when we come in the door, so I was prepared with the camera when I walked in.
Starving! And exhausted! Hunger won out, so I started some rice.
Trader Joe’s Indian food…we love these. You can probably tell.
While the food was cooking, I ran up to take a shower.
Then lunch! No time for a nap, even though I was SO exhausted.
Guess who’s home!
He tells me all about his day.
Then he starts eating. A lot.
I was downloading my photos to work on them. Hey, cat, you’re in my way.
Then Lyle’s friend called to invite him over for a bit. Since it was cold and dark, I drove him instead of walking.
Always a lovely welcome home.
Home again and showered.
Owen Meany waiting for me on my bed, where I joined him not long after Lyle went to sleep.