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Saturday, November 25th & Sunday, November 26th: Mount Margaret and Eagle’s Nest Open Space

David flew in for a visit over Thanksgiving, so we made sure to make time for some outdoors! On Saturday we headed up to Livermore, CO, near Red Feather Lake area, to stay with family for the night and hang out. Before settling in for the day we headed up to the Mount Margaret trail and set out for a beautiful hike on a sunny November day.

The way out was relatively easy, and it was really enjoyable seeing snow-capped mountains in the distance. The total hike was a little over seven miles (although my phone died so the entire hike wasn’t tracked correctly). We took a break at the end point and climbed up on to some of the rocks near Mount Margaret to enjoy the views.

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We then headed to my relatives’ house for the evening and enjoyed lots of tasty food, drinks, and company. We puzzled, played games, and watched Christmas movies while enjoying the beautiful views from their house.

The next day on the way home we stopped at Eagle’s Nest Open Space for a shorter hike. In all, it was a little of three miles but it was HOT outside with an intense sun, which we were not prepared for, so it felt like a much more challenging hike than we were expecting. It was still a neat hike though, with views of the foothills, red rocks, and open fields with horses, while also leading us down to the Poudre River.

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January 2015: Hocking Hills, Ohio

Happy throwback Monday! For no specific reason, I feel like reminiscing about the Ohio hiking that I did in my first few years there. In January 2015 we went to Hocking Hills for a weekend. We rented a cabin (with a hot tub!!) near the hiking trails and spent the weekend hiking in the hills, playing games (Bonanza!), and cooking with friends.

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I don’t remember all of the trails that we hiked in detail, but I know that we hiked to Ash Cave, Rock House, Cedar Falls, and the Gorge and Rim Trails in Conkle’s Hollow.

Ash Cave:

Rock House:

Cedar Falls:

And then what I think are photos from Conkle’s Hollow Gorge Trail and Rim Trail:

There were other photos from this trip, with views from the Rim Trail, so if they turn up I will add them!

This was an awesome, wintery getaway, and I can’t believe we’re coming up on three years since this trip. My toes were cold 90% of the time (the 10% they weren’t cold was when we were in the hot tub at our cabin), but the hiking was still really great, and the ice formations and caves were so cool!

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Random photo of Morty before she destroyed all of these plants

Thursday, November 2nd: Lory State Park, Well Gulch to Timber to Arthur’s Rock to West Valley Trail

This was a perfectly spooky hike for the week of Halloween! There was a heavy fog warning out for Larimer County when I left for the park this morning, and it did not disappoint while hiking! The temperatures were finally low enough that I felt chilly throughout the entire hike, which was refreshing. I haven’t been to Lory¬† State Park since I lived here the last time, so it was nice to finally make it back for a hike on the trails there. I parked at the Etluck picnic area and started the hike on the Well Gulch trail. I connected to Timber and started the climb up on all of the switchbacks.

From Timber I connected with the Artuher’s Rock trail and climbed up to the summit. Normally this provides an expansive view of Fort Collins and beyond, but today it was a sea of fog. I took a break, ate some snacks, and enjoyed the foggy views at the top.

I hiked back down on the Arthur’s Rock trail, then turned on to the West Valley trail to loop back to the parking lot. Once back, I decided to hike down to Etluck Bay to check out the reservoir’s water level. In all, the hike was a little over seven miles and was overall pretty quiet, with only a few other hikers spotted, a couple of rock climbers, and a wild turkey (gobble gobble!).

Tuesday, October 24th: Foothills Trail, I Think.

Since moving to Colorado, the great state for being outdoors, I feel like I’ve spent significantly more time indoors. Between working, studying, and trying to identify where the heck/what the heck the lacuna is in a spongy bone tissue sample under the microscope, I have felt pretty busy. But, autumn is here and I felt inspired by this past weekend’s monster hikers to get out for a mini hike today and enjoy it before it is gone!

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So, I headed to the trail that winds its way along Horsetooth Reservoir. I’m not actually certain the trail I hiked was the foothills trail, but the trail was unmarked on the maps in the parking lot, so that’s my best guess.

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It was SO NICE to spend some time outside. There were trees that had turned bright colors along the trail, and the water looked deep blue today. The trail was overall pretty quiet, I only really saw one mountain biker and one runner, so it was quite peaceful. In the end, it is never a mistake to take a break from the things that feel so pressing to go outside and enjoy some fresh air. Reminder to self: ultimately, everything that needs to get done will, and taking time to relax and enjoy the outdoors will only help.

Saturday, September 9th: North Chagrin Metropark and the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes

Between work, school, and living apart, we haven’t been getting out for many hikes lately. But, during a visit back to Cleveland, we were able to go on some hikes in the area! On Saturday morning, we hiked about 7 miles on various trails at North Chagrin. We started at Squire’s Castle, hiked towards the nature center, and looped back to the castle. We saw deer, a blue heron, a green heron hunting for minnows, and a barred owl (they have owls captured that were injured) feasting on its lunch. It was a beautiful morning and it was so nice to spend some time in the lush greenery of the midwest.

Afterwards, we feasted on Indian food at a local restaurant.We were stuffed from lunch, so we decided to continue our hiking adventures with a mini hike at the Shaker Lakes trails, where did a perfect post-lunch mile.

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We then replenished ourselves later in the day with some wine at the CLE Urban Winery during the Heights Music Hop!

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Sunday, July 9: Horsetooth Falls

I woke up early to get ahead of the heat and hike at Horsetooth Falls. The drive there was peaceful, as the reservoir was very calm and peaceful looking as I drove by. I thought that this was the first time I was doing this hike, but after hiking for a bit I realized I may have hiked this when I was younger with my mom, still not sure. It was a really nice hike though. It was early enough that it wasn’t so crowded, but it was still nice to see folks out. In the end, it was a bit over 4 miles, since I hiked up the Horsetooth Rock and South Ridge trails for a short distance after hiking the falls hike.

 

Thursday, June 15: Coyote Ridge Trail

Distance: 4.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 600 ft.

Trail: Natural/Dirt

Land Status: Public/Managed by the city of Fort Collins

Difficulty: Moderate due to incline

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My favorite part of this hike happened on my hike back down, when a mountain biker passed me while belting out a song at the top of his lungs in what I think was Spanish, in a jolly sing-songy way. So random.

My new commute to work is long, but I am so lucky that there are so many open spaces and trails between home and work. Today on the way home from work I decided to stop at Coyote Ridge to do a short hike. I used to frequent this trail when I was in undergrad as it was a favorite running route, but I certainly did not feel up to running it this time (we’ll say it’s because I haven’t yet adjusted to the altitude here…). However, it served as a beautiful place for an evening hike. I saw so much wildlife, including mule deer and many bunnies, along with a really beautiful, small, bright blue bird. I forgot how challenging the trail could be on the way out, as it is uphill with some pretty loose/rocky trail sections. At the top there is such a beautiful overlook of Fort Collins in one direction and more open space in the other direction with more connecting trails.