Hiking in Colorado: Button Rock Trail

Today’s hike: Button Rock Trail outside of Lyons, CO, and on the way to Estes Park, CO.

I chose this one because it was close to my house, and I needed one easy and quick. This one fit the bill.

Button Rock Trail

A dirt road off of the Highway 36 to Estes Park, Button Rock Trail was easy to find. Part of the Button Rock Preserve, Button Rock Trail leads to Ralph Price Reservoir. We parked at the trailhead and started on our way. It was a cloudy, cool day, high around 60 degrees at 7:30 am when we started–perfect weather for hiking in Colorado.

There were several trails that connected to Button Rock Trail. You could hike to Sleepy Lion Trail, another trail system in Button Rock Natural Area or take another loop that led to Ralph Price Reservoir as well.

Ralph Price Reservoir

We chose to stay straight and follow the service road to the Reservoir because it was flat. The entire hike we followed North Saint Vrain Creek. It was picturesque with boulders causing many cascades and waterfalls.

Waterfall Button Rock Trail

Near the end, you climbed a very short switchback trail to the top of Ralph Price Reservoir. The view was amazing:

Ralph Price Reservoir

We headed back the way we came in order to return to Windsor, CO, in time for my son’s karate graduation. Total distance: 4.5 miles. Total time: 1 hr, 40 min.

Great hike for those looking for a quick, easy trail. Lots of wildflowers and butterflies. Soothing sounds of running water. Dog-friendly with off lease hiking areas. Highly recommended!

Loving Your Pet Through Death…

My cat has lost weight recently and has not been eating.

We took her to the vet.

Diagnosis: kidney (or renal) failure.

Prognosis: not good.

There are things we can do to make her comfortable: give her fluids, change her diet, maintain low-stress environment.

But, ultimately, she’s dying. She could have months. Or a year.

Yet, somehow, I’m grateful.

Grateful that I know so we can not take her for granted. Grateful I can love her more. Grateful for the years she has given us.

This doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s never easy to watch a pet die. I’ve held two of my dogs in my arms when they were dying. And I knew a little ahead of time it was coming.

The worst part is the helplessness of it all. Not being able to help. To make her better. To do anything. Except hold her and love her and cherish her.

While she’s here, we’ll make the most of it.

Love her till death and beyond.

We love you, dearest Emerald.

0708181234_HDR.jpg
Our precious, precious kitty

Hiking in Colorado: Kruger Rock Trail

Hermit Park Natural Area

Kruger Rock Trail is an enjoyable hiking trail near Estes Park, CO. It’s 2 miles up and 2 miles down, slightly inclined the entire way up and then decline on the way back. It sits in Hermit Park Natural Area, which is a fee area.

The entrance to the trail is by a huge pavilion and camping sites. Open fields in the very beginning with a lot of beautiful wildflowers and butterflies and then up the mountain! Lots of shade. Trail very easy to follow. Amazing views of the town of Estes Park.  Great for families.

Town of Estes Park, CO

 

Hiking in Colorado: Mount Margaret Trail…

Mount Margaret Trail

“Bear!”

We all freeze and turn to look at the outcry of my middle daughter. Out of the shrubbery emerges a….cow.

We all breathed a sigh of relief. None of us wanted to meet a bear.

Near Red Feather Lakes, CO, Mount Margaret Trail is an easy out and back trail. My kids and I hiked this trail that was relatively flat and had amazing wildflowers, butterflies, and pine smells. Burnt trees from fires a few years back (along with some beetle kill) dotted the landscape along with large rocks and boulders.

As opposed to Red Mountain Open Space, this trail had lots of shade and was a bit cooler because of it.

0629180835a_hdr.jpg

Fun, easy trail that got me yearning for our forthcoming camping and ATV trip!

Digging at Magic Mountain Archaeological Site…

My kids and I had the opportunity to work side-by-side along archaeologists at the Magic Mountain dig site in Golden, CO.

Located near Apex Park, archaeologists are trying to answer the question: “Just how many people did live here in CO and how long ago?” The answer could prove that early humans were here long before we thought in this area.  Hunter-gatherers lived here as early as 5000 BC but could it be before then?

For the second year in a row, the archaeologists were granted funding and the public has been invited to help them in their search for early artifacts such as clay shards, glass, pottery bits, arrowheads, and more.  Over 80,000 artifacts have been discovered here so far and we now have the opportunity to add to that number!

For 45 minutes we were hosted by volunteers in association with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and were informed of the history of the area, early Native Americans lives, and the archaeological history here.

Then we were escorted onto the site where we got to dig in a plot and help excavate! This was the best part as we got dirty and dug and sifted through dirt to uncover hidden truths and shards of history.

I personally don’t have the patience to do this day in and day out.  It was a great experience and my kids had a blast! Thank you!

Hiking in Colorado: Red Mountain Open Space

My kids and I hiked Red Mountain Open Space today. We began around 9 am and it was hot already!

This is an easy trail, sporting beautiful views. It is more on the plains side of Colorado so there is little shade. A burbling stream crosses the trail near the beginning, making for a nice reliever from the sun.

We saw Western Meadowlarks, pronghorn, cattle, birds, butterflies, and dragonflies galore! It was a rocky area with obvious sandstone layers and red rocks which makes for interesting geology. We hiked to Bent Rock and part of the Stone Circle Trail for 4 miles total. We were all anxious to get back to the car to some shade!

Nice hike. Beautiful. Couldn’t ask for more!

Hiking in Colorado: Eagle’s Nest Open Space…

My kids and I hiked Eagle’s Nest Open Space just past Livermore, CO.

We did the 4 miles out and back and skipped the loop, which would have added another 2 miles to our hike mainly because it’s the first hike of the summer, and I wanted something easy. We stopped at the bridge and turned around.

We went early, but it was still hot! This was not as flat as I had thought. It’s got ups and downs but is beautiful. Lots of caterpillars, butterflies, birds, and a rabbit. Beautiful stream flows through. Fun!