Dispatch Boulder - Weekend Hikes (What else?)

Soon there will be snow on the ground and the days will be colder.  This is precisely why I'm getting in as many hikes as I can now.  I do plan to give snowshoeing a try this winter but I know it will not be the same has hiking these trails in the warm sun and dry ground beneath my feet. 

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You can see from these pictures that Saturday's hike was a cool and a bit overcast day, but by mile one, I was warm and comfortable and taking in the wonderful sights.  This is Heil Valley Ranch just north of Boulder.  I competed the 7.6 loop with a slight, easy climb in elevation.  Even though the climb was gradual, the old hips were burning by mile five!  This trail is a popular mountain biking trail, and once again I was graced with some hunky and friendly guys getting their sweat on.  

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Between the clouds, the sky was the most beautiful blue.  

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I took this picture with the panoramic option on my iPhone.  Not great, but you get the idea.

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For most of the hike, this was my view to the left and right along the narrow trail.

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So I'm walking along lost in thought and look up to find six deer staring me down.  They sort of startled me because I had honestly been thinking a little earlier that there seemed to be a lack of wildlife on this trail.  Not even birds.  And when there are no birds, it's kind of creepy, you know?

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The half-way point is an overlook stop.  This was the "overlook!"  The top picture is looking west to the Rockies and the bottom looking off to the east.  Breathtaking in both directions. 

On Sunday I opted for a much shorter hike, one where Hugo could join me.  We did a trail called Tenderfoot Loop, which is just what Hugo is - a tenderfoot. This 3 mile trail was much closer to home just up Flagstaff road west of Boulder.  The road is one of those crazy tight switchback kind of mountain roads that is awesome fun in the summer months, but probably super scary in the winter.  And it is heavily trafficked by road bikers.  Huffing and puffing their way up and super speeding on the way down!

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Look at that snow far off in the distance......  Coming my way soon!

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Zoom in shot!

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And one last image - Of this magnificent tree glistening bright gold in the sunlight.  

I confess to never having been crazy interested in photography as a hobby.  But living here among these surroundings, the best nature has to offer, I cannot help myself.  I have three cameras = my iPhone camera (love, super convenient), a Panasonic Lumix with powerful zoom, and an EOS Digital Rebel. Until now I haven't been carrying the EOS with me as it is big and requires changing out the lens for zoom.  But I've decided that it will be well worth the effort.  Who knows, this taking pictures thing may become a favorite pastime.  :)

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