Hidden Gem

One of the bonuses of my husband’s job in conservation is that some of the conferences he attends include “sessions” that involve hikes and other outdoor activities in and around the host city.  (For those of us who are stuck in dimly lit hotel ballroom/dining room settings on uncomfortable chairs for hours on end for conferences, it seems like a dream!  So jealous!)  This year’s Colorado Open Space Association annual meeting in Estes Park did just that.

One of his “sessions” (and I can’t make the air quotes big enough online!) was a hike in some Larimer County open space called Hermit Park just outside of Estes Park.  Turns out we’d driven by the entrance a few times going to/from Rocky Mountain National Park, but we’d never turned in since we were aiming for “the big park”.  Boy, were we missing something good!  Even though it was cloudy and crappy the day my husband’s conference took him up there, he saw enough that he knew he’d be taking me back there.

And so he did.  A few weeks later we went for a jaunt up to the highest point in Hermit Park and it was stunning!  Since you’re sitting slightly south and just east of Rocky, the views are phenomenal!  These shots are just a sampling of the visual goodies we found that day, shot on my phone since it was a “test run” of sorts.

Mountains Surround

I’m sure we’ll get back here down the road and I can’t wait!


– JC

Colorado Detour

(Originally posted June 21, 2013)

I wanted to get a quick post up to show some shots I took during a hike we squeezed in while looking for a new home in Colorado a few weeks ago.  Our trip was full of “life business”, but we made sure to get out at least once and walk in the woods.  🙂

My husband thought that a hike up Greyrock Trail outside of Fort Collins would be good for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s an easy to moderate trail that would be good for us to tackle having only acclimatized a little bit since landing in Denver and it’d be a reasonable test for my surgically repaired foot.  Second, the trail goes through some of the land that was scorched to the west of Fort Collins in 2012 during the High Park fire and we were curious to see how well the forest was recovering since the fire.  (The fire occurred just about a year ago.)

The good news was that, for as big as that fire was, the forest is already coming back.  Lots of green grasses were already springing up and there were areas where the trees only partially burned, yet survived.  The hills in the distance had gobs of burned trees, but that was punctuated with grasses already – a good sign of recovery!

The remnants of the fire did make for some interesting photographic finds.  Here’s just a couple that I caught that day:

Leopard Fire - Greyrock Trail - Colorado
Leopard Fire – Greyrock Trail – Colorado
Fire Marker - Greyrock Trail - Colorado
Fire Marker – Greyrock Trail – Colorado
Remains - Greyrock Trail - Colorado
Remains – Greyrock Trail – Colorado

So the forest will continue to recover over the coming years, albeit slowly.  Considering how massive that fire was, seeing the land get a jump-start on coming back was a happy thing to see!


– JC


PS – Ok, so this blog entry does give away our new home that I teased in my PS of my last post a few weeks ago – Colorado here we come (in a few short weeks)!!  The packing is ramping up quickly, so this may very well be my last post from our current Philadelphia-area home base.  No worries though because we’ll get setup and ready to go as quickly as possible once we settle in at our new home in good old CO!