Saturday, November 26, 2011

Golden Gate Canyon State Park near Golden.


Today we hiked the Horseshoe, Mule Deer, and Black Bear trails. Certain areas were extremely slippery especially on Black Bear. Our clever friends had their expandable hiking poles, but we (not so clever) did not. We decided that homemade poles might help us stay upright. One of the branches that I picked for myself had a clump of ice stuck to the top which glowed with a faintly greenish hue in the sunlight from the moss on the stick and pine needles that stuck out of that icy crown. I liked the way the ice looked - it made me think of something that you might see in a cheesy B movie or a History Channel program about cave-dwellers making a trek across the mountains - so I left the ice on that pole until we abandoned them at the end of the day. On this hike we saw some deer, an old abandoned cabin from the 1800's, a beautiful panoramic view of the Continental Divide, and a happy snowy-nosed dog enjoying himself. Fall is definitely becoming winter in the mountains near Golden, CO.

Looking out towards The Continental Divide from Black Bear Trail.

(click on the picture to see a zoomed-in slide show)

We started off on Horseshoe Trail about 11:30am.

Mushka (a.k.a. MooShoo) showing off his snowdog face.

A pool of water on Horseshoe Trail.

John Frazer's homestead cabin from 1869.

Story of Frazer's cabin.

Rim Meadow view on the Mule Deer Trail.

Cool pattern in the shadows - looks like a giant snowflake.

Just as soon as I took this picture...

Look closely...

Nice antlers. I wish that I had time to get a better shot. The largest of the bucks was looking straight at me for a couple seconds while I was fiddling with my camera. It's always fun to suddenly notice a whole group of deer just off the side of the trail.

I've noticed that the buck in the center looks like a badly PhotoShopped body with the head sticking too far out the other side. There must have been another doe standing there, and it looks weird. I wasn't paying attention to exactly how many deer were in the group. There were at least five, maybe a couple more. 

They trotted off as soon as I started taking pictures. Stage-fright.

Black Bear Trail

Another view from Black Bear.

Today's "magical" walking staff in the sunlight.