Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Colorado River Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park

On another trip over Trail Ridge road, we took a short hike along the Colorado River Trail, as it was called a “river” trail, I assumed we’d be walking by the river most of the way.   Wrong.
The headwaters of the Colorado River flow from the Western slopes of the Continental Divide and Never Summer Mountains, before flowing over 1,400 miles to the Gulf of California.
The trail left the car park and climbed over a short hill and through the trees.
At a ½ mile the trail divided, as we walked towards the river the trail sign showed the mileage to Grand Ditch via Red Mountain, Hitchens Gulch, Dutch Town and Thunder Pass.  

 Just over the bridge the trail continued through a lovely open meadow

After spending a while beside the river, and thinking that what we were seeing here looked nothing like the torrent that thunders through the Grand Canyon, we rejoined the main trail.

DB studied the trail sign, the two nearest hikes were to the remains of the Shipler mine site and cabins and Lulu City which was a silver boom town for a few years in the mid-1800’s, but as the silver was low grade the town soon died.

Only having planned a short hike, we weren’t equipped and definitely didn’t have enough water for the longer hike to Lulu City, but as Shipler mine site was only a couple of miles further along the trail we thought it might be doable. 

Leaving the river behind we were soon back among the trees, at one section the trees and rocks closed in on the trail, making a narrow passage.

DB was slightly ahead of me and as I followed him through I heard a strange noise, needless to say DB didn’t hear a thing. By now it was getting quite warm and although we carried on, I was sure that we really didn’t have enough water to comfortably reach the mine site and walk back.   On top of which I kept thinking about the noise I’d heard. 

In the end, after me having several “I’m sure there was something in those trees” moments and much muttering on DB’s part, we turned back.   On the return journey, in exactly the same place I heard whatever it was again. Needless to say DB once again never heard a thing and said I was imagining things, but I definitely heard something odd! 

We strolled back along the trail and just as we came within sight of the car park, DB pointed to a tree and asked if I’d noticed it on the way out.   I had.

A lovely ponderosa pine, the bark had been ripped from the bottom and huge claw marks showed where not too long ago, a bear had marked its territory, and DB said I was hearing things!!!!!  

Have fun, we are!

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