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Up Down and Around

Arising early, around 6am this morning, we raced out to try and capture the sunrise on the mountains. It turns out we actually have to be out a little earlier to capture the richly hued shots before the sun rises too far. Maybe Thursday morning we’ll try again.

After watching the sun come over the horizon and a refreshing call back home, we decided to be a little adventurous and head up I-24 in search of unpopular places to capture photos. Coming across a town called Green Mountain Falls, we detoured from the interstate and headed over. Turns out the falls no longer exist because the lake up stream which supplied the water dried up. So, no falls, but that little excursion brought us to an elaborate piece of artwork titled, “Footprint In Green”, an organically shaped structure made up of vines all woven together. Quite an analogy of our lives. A sweet find and a cool encounter (if I say so myself…)!

Getting back onto the interstate, we traveled up to the small town of Woodland Park heading to a short 5 mile loop trail that I was able to find using a Trail App on my phone. I happened to get a glimpse of a heavily antlered donned deer, so we turned around, made our way back to his location, which was right in a neighborhood, and two more showed up while we took photos.  They looked like yard ornaments. Incredible. Taking to the trail with cameras and eager spirits, we started our journey through the woods. On the trail we weaved through numerous patches of Aspens, rock formations with huge boulders and crossed over a couple of small streams. Wildlife was scarce, but it was still beautiful and at the peak of the trail we had a very nice view of Pikes Peak.

As we ascended towards the peak, it started raining. It was a pleasant on-and-of rain, nothing that was too drenching. Although, that did change once we started our descent. Pouring rain and water flowing along the trail, we looked like we had showered by the time reached the truck. Unfortunately, when we were grabbing our gear to start the hike, I ruled out our panchos/rain coats. The weather report was in our favor. We weren’t supposed to get any rain until 2:30pm and we were starting out around 10am so, I figured we were good. Turned out the weathermen were off(again) and it started raining around 11:30-12 o-clock.  I guess you live and learn. No matter what, always take your rain gear with you! 🙂

After trying to dry our soaked clothes with some towels in the back of our truck, we had a quick lunch and drove down to Red Rock Canyon open space. It is situated across the way from the ‘Garden of the god’s’ and has similar characteristics about it, yet the added feature is that there are a ton less people and you can climb on most of the rocks without having a permit and climbing gear. Very enjoyable and I’d love to go back there to spend more time adventuring and climbing.

The husband of the family we are staying with invited us to see a rodeo at the Colorado State Fair that evening. He supplied us with cowboy hats and off we went. This was my first authentic rodeo experience and it truly was a lot of fun to watch. The emcee was, refreshingly, a G-dly man with encouraging words and an obvious love for our America. Nothing like a good western rodeo, alongside a highly animated crowd, to finish the night off. Took our boots off and hit the sack.

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