Dispatch Boulder - Mitchell & Blue Lake Hike

Hi Friends!  Yesterday brought another big hike for me.  This time to the Brainard Recreation Area which is about an hour outside of Boulder.  The drive was beautiful and early, early in the morning.  The BRA is a popular one and I had been warned to get there before 8am or parking would be an issue for me.  So, up at 5:45 and on the road by 7pm.

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The view above is from the road right outside Nederland which is another mountain town just west of Boulder.  My friends took me for dinner one night in Nederland when I was visiting in June, but I've yet to spend time there since moving here.  It's on my list!

Exciting for me, and I hope for my pup Hugo, he got to go on his first real hike since being in his new home.  Dealing with his paw surgeries has been a real bummer for both of us, so I was beyond happy to finally be able to bring him along.  I should say that having him on the hike is both enjoyable and challenging at times too.  He adds in element of additional supplies needed for the hike, lots of stops for sniffing, peeing, and drinks from the streams, but all in all, I'd rather have him with me than not.  

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He did great.  And I should admit that I almost killed him!  I mean, the trail almost did him in.  When I was researching this hike I didn't realize how rocky it was going to be.  And the elevation change (climbing part) wasn't so bad, so I thought this would be a good option for him.  As it turned out, a good part of the trail was very rocky and I mean big, sharp rocks.  Poor dog.  I'd be haulin butt up the hill and I'd feel the leash go tight only to turn around and see him trying to get over a boulder!  Keep in mind that he is 9.5 years old and never, ever done any hiking like this in his life.  He was a city dog for the most part back in Austin.   But he made it all the way to our destination - Blue Lake - completing the 5 mile hike.  And, he was absolutely adored by all the people we passed on the trail.  Comments ranged from, "Wow, that's a big dog." to "Bruiser" to "What kind of dog is he?" to "He is beautiful!"  Hugo is such a good dog.  He really is.  For a breed that can be quite fierce when protecting their loved ones, he is a doll of a boy.  Even his vet has remarked how special he is.  In my eyes, he is very special.

Various scenes of loveliness along the trail.

Various scenes of loveliness along the trail.

There was a little snow along part of the hike, and the mountains in the distance had a dusting too..

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And this happy little note left by some nature loving hiker.  Made me smile.

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And here is Blue Lake.  Beautiful. Crisp. Cool. Another example of Mother Earth's glory. 

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The hike was not without a little drama for me.  When Hugo and I made it to the lake, I went to put on my sunglasses and they were gone!  Since it was early morning and so much of the trail under the trees, I had taken them off and hung them on my pack.  I always hang them there and have never had a problem.  I was so, so disappointed.  My shades were a splurge with the help of a gift card I received last Christmas - Maui Jims.  I immediately knew why they had come off the loop where they hung.  It was Hugo.  Yes, Hugo's fault.  Well, not really his intentional fault, but I just knew it was in having to save him from not one, but two falls in the water, that I had lost those sunglasses.  I resolved pretty quickly to accept that they were gone and that I'd just have to buy another pair.  But I did intend to look for them along the way back down.

And I did.  I scanned the trail all the way back down.  We passed so many hikers coming up the trail that I figured they had long ago been spotted and picked up, making someone's day.  As we passed the spot (a bit off the trail) where Hugo had first taken a misstep and plunged in the cold lake water, I thought what the heck, I'll go see if by chance they are there.  Yippee!!  There they were lying on the bank.  That's what perseverance will do for you.  The willingness to backtrack.     

It was a good day my friends.  A good day indeed.

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