Saturday, September 14, 2013

Alternate Route

I am really, really grateful that I didn't know I was carrying around a huge spider until it was dead, on the floor of the shower, being sluiced down the drain.  Its body alone was an inch long. Gack!

There's no reaching Rocky Mountain National Park this trip.  It's my cousins' favorite place in Colorado, but the road there has been washed away, and the park itself is closed.  So, I made alternate plans (Hermione and Charles decided to stay home).   I started to drive to Leadville, where I was told there is a pretty lake and silver mines, but a third of the way there it started to pour, and so I turned around and took US-6 for Golden. 

Great craggy scenery. I was behind this wood-sided jalopy for part of the way.

Clear Creek, alongside the road, was neither clear nor creek-like--I saw one rubber raft-load of foolhardy thrillseekers battling the foaming rapids.

I decided to drive up Lookout Mountain, as the skies over Denver were still blue.  I parked 3/4 of the way up, and hiked to the summit. A nice medium trail, beautiful views of the purple mountains' majesty on the west side, and of the neatly suburbed Mile High City on the other. Pink quartz rocks, moss, and wildflowers.  The only real problem with singleton hikes is that no one is available to take your picture against the wilderness backdrop.  I was able to prop my camera up on a rock and get one decent shot, then settled for a couple of close-up "selfies" with my cell phone, but they didn't get the scenery, just a really good record of my multiplying facial wrinkles.
This is not water, but pine sap.  Many of the trees are being fatally attacked by beetles.
My new hiking boots and the Camelback pack have been wonderful.
I love the mountains!  When I first stumbled on this view, a tiny bird was busily bathing itself in the little puddle of water in the rock, visible at the lower right, but it flew off before I could get my camera focused properly.

Visited Buffalo Bill's grave before driving back home--it's not particularly remarkable (this buffalo statue is by the pathway to it).  What was impressive was the rapid buildup of ominously dark clouds in the southeastern sky, which encouraged me to get off the mountain and back to civilization as quickly as possible.

My cousins will shortly be calling me to watch another episode of Sherlock. I've known they were nice, and of course they are family, but this trip has been a delightful indulgence in the company of kindred spirits. The first concrete evidence of "fellow nerddom"... discovering that I needn't have brought my Russian-English dictionary (just in case, you know, someone asks me to translate something while I'm on vacation), because Hermione had a copy of the exact same one:

Oh, and here's an example of the condition of my wardrobe these days...besides the monster rip in the right sleeve of today's shirt, there's a hole in the cuff of the left one.  I think it may be time to retire this particular piece...

1 comment:

batgirl said...

Oook. I had the spider experience once. It fell down the neck of my sweater while I was opening the gate to the easement, and stayed quiescent all through the one-hour drive in to work, until I got in and pulled my sweater off - discovering a big orb spider sitting on my shirt front.
I brushed it off and leapt backwards simultaneously, and couldn't muster up the courage to catch-and-release it, just stood and twitched while it scurried away under some shelves.