Me and Annie dressed as a SCUBA diver and shark

Halloween Hike: Matthew/Winters

One of my favorite “holidays” is Halloween.  With COVID, the parties were non-existent and the status of trick-or-treaters was unknown, so I made the most of it with a Halloween hike.  I’m thankful my friends Mike and Paula could join me at Matthew/Winters Park.  We connected several trails to make a 4.4 mile lollipop loop.


The Rockies: A Stroll Through Red Rocks

Today, Bill and I took a short 1.4 mile stroll along the Trading Post Trail at Red Rocks Park. Red Rocks not only has trails, but is also a natural amphitheater for concerts. Some people even run the stairs in the concert venue!

We were just taking it easy on this sunny yet windy day! The trail, beginning at 6,280 feet undulated through meadows and valleys and twisted through the magnificent rock formations and eventually crossed a small creek. Each rock formation, that glistened in the sunlight, has a different name…frog rock, sinking Titanic rock, seven ladders rock…just to name a few.

Given the Trading Post Trail was short and we wanted to enjoy more of this beautiful spring day, we picked another trail that initiated at the lower north parking lot. We climbed the dusty trail to split where a sign pointed us right to the Red Rocks Trail and left to the Morrison Slide Trail.

First we turned toward the right and headed to the overlook which provided a nice view of the city. Then, we meandered back down and followed the trail to the left until we reached another overlook.

All in all, I don’t know how many miles we logged, but enough to stop off in Morrison for a lovely Italian lunch! It was nice to get the hiking season started! I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time in the mountains this summer. ETB


Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop.  Each card has a travel story associated with it.  20% of proceeds are donated to charity.


photographic note card, mountain goat in colorado
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The Rockies: Breaking Trail at Meyer Ranch Park

Today I joined a group that was hiking Meyer Ranch, a 575 acre park which is part of Jefferson County Open Space. The land was homesteaded by Duncan McIntyre in 1870. He later sold the property in 1883 to Louis Ramboz who built a house in 1889 and operated the ranch for hay, timber, and cattle until 1912.

Throughout its years, the ranch has served as the winter quarters for the PT Barnum Circus animals as well as a ski hill. Jefferson County Open Space acquired the land from its most recent owners, Norman and Ethel Meyer, in 1986.

We got to enjoy just about every trail in the park today. We strapped on our MicroSpikes and blazed the trail through the newly fallen snow. It is the first time this season I have gotten to hike the day after a nice snow, which made for beautiful scenery.

IMG_3302 tree

The trail, Owl Perch, softly coated in fluffy powder led us through the open meadow past a grove of bare aspens and into a lodge pole pine forest. The evergreens, coated with the fresh flakes, reflected the light from the morning sun as we switched back and forth beneath the clear blue sky.

As we climbed Sunny Aspen Trail to Old Ski Run Trail, we eventually found a small overlook where we enjoyed the view of the snow-capped mountains across the valley. We also took a few off trail excursions around rock formations before trouncing down Lodgepole Loop and back to Owl’s Perch Trail. Overall, we gained nearly 1,500 feet along our five mile hike, much of which included breaking the trail. It was kind of fun to be the first to leave footprints in the snow on this glorious fifty degree day!

After lunch at Three Margaritas, I took a small detour to Tiny Town, which is just and area with a variety of tiny buildings…a perfect size for little kids. I snapped a photo as I drove by and headed back to Denver. Happy hiking…ETB

IMG_3304 tiny town


Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop.  Each card has a travel story associated with it.  20% of proceeds are donated to charity.


photographic note card, elk in rocky mountain national park
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The Rockies: An Easy Hike in Elk Meadow Park

June 1, 2013

Justin, Kristin, Mike and I went for a quick morning hike today at Elk Meadow Park in Evergreen, Colorado. Elk Meadow was once an 1,140 acre cattle ranch, but is now part of Jefferson County Open Space and offers a variety of trails to explore.

We connected Painters Pause, Founders, Meadow View, and Sleepy S Trails together to make a 4.7 mile relatively flat loop that took us through a very windy meadow before we climbed a little into the pines. We opted against taking the strenuous trails or hiking up to Bergen Peak today…we’ll save it for another time.

The skies were clear and wildflowers have finally started to bloom. Our hike was quick, as we finished by 10 am, but it was nice to enjoy the spring-like weather, and we are looking forward to lots of hikes this summer!

The Rockies: Shorts, T-shirt, Snow, and Bill Couch Mountain Summit

March 30, 2013

Today we traveled Southwest of town about 30 minutes to Deer Creek Canyon in Jefferson County Open Space. Here, rich mining lands meet the mesa which produced corn, wheat, and hay, making the area a popular stomping ground in the late 1800’s. Most of the land that makes up Deer Creek Canyon Park was homesteaded by the Williamson’s and Sam Couch, both English emigrants, in 1872 and 1874, respectively. Many Indian tribes, including the Utes, Arapaho, and Cheyenne visited their ranches.

In addition, many silver and gold mining prospectors seeked their fortune here as well. Wiley Phillips founded a town called Phillipsburg to accommodate new arrivals. The 500 residents soon moved to more prosperous areas. The town has remained empty since its last resident, who owned the General Store, died in 1974. Phillipsburg’s most famous resident was Alfred Packer. While lost and stuck in the San Juan mountains in the winter of 1874, he turned to cannibalism and ate his prospecting companions. He was tried for murder and spent 30 years in jail. He was described as a kind man and died just two years after his release.

For our hike, we followed portions of three trails to summit Bill Couch Mountain and hiked around 6.5 miles roundtrip. We first followed the Plymouth Creek Trail along hard clay through cacti. The hard clay quickly turned to mud and as it ascended into the foothills, we met the leftover snow and ice from last week’s storms. Though shaded as the trail followed the creek beneath the evergreens, we expected the snow to be melted, thus we were a bit surprised. Luckily, I had my microspikes which were very useful. I think my fellow companions would have liked to have there microspikes with them!

After following the Plymouth Creek Trail for 2.4 miles, we took a right onto Mesa Trail for a tenth of a mile and then descended Golden Eagle Trail, limited to hikers only, for half a mile to the summit. Nothing like descending to a summit! Upon summitting, John celebrating by riding the bull! OK, it was a non-moving rock, so he stayed on 8 seconds. After enjoying a 360 view which included Denver, the mesa, and surrounding mountains, we turned back toward the parking lot. We backtracked UP Golden Eagle Trail and across Mesa Trail and down a portion of the Plymouth Creek Trail to Meadowlark Trail, also for hikers only, to change up our return just a bit.

With the exception of a mile on Plymouth Creek Trail, the rest of the trails were exposed to the sun and free of snow. We enjoyed the 60 temperatures and the sun poking through the storm clouds rolling in and generally hiked in shorts and a T-shirt!! Only the cool breeze near the summit called for light jacket. The climb ascended 800 to 1,000 feet over three miles and the summit topped out at 6,800 feet, so it was an easy hike that we finished in less than three hours. I imagine we would have hiked at a faster clip if we weren’t trying to balance on ice at times…really glad I had my spikes! Overall, it was a lovely day, nice hike, fun with friends and exciting to see spring in sight. ETB