Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hiking at Indian Creek

This past Sunday I decided I had to go out for a hike. It had been over a week since I was out doing any kind of major physical activity and my body was telling me it really was time to get in gear. Unfortunately for me, Zack would have none of it. He was determined to stay at home in case of one his friends who had been staying nearby at her grandparents recently decided to stop by. My hiking partner for the day was going to only be Lex. I didn’t want to go alone so I figured crazy boy was better than nothing. My starting point for this hike was the Indian Head Campground in Douglas County. This campground is located about 11 miles west of Sedalia on Colorado Highway 67. The great thing about the trails starting from this campground is that they link into a series of trails that run through Douglas County open space. Additionally, the terrain covered by these trails is very isolated and desolate. A perfect place to get out and let Lex run! I arrive at the campground with my slobbering, panting compatriot. Lex was in the front seat with me a majority of the drive as I had taken the Civic as opposed to the Explorer. Given that I don’t have any kind of dog restraint system in the Civic, he was sitting in the passenger seat right next to me for the majority of the drive. That is always interesting let me tell you! We hit the trail and quickly let Lex off leash as he was going to pull my arm out of it’s socket. After we had gone about 3/10 of a mile, Lex got pretty far ahead of me and then I heard a lot of screaming. I was afraid Lex was terrifying some one on the trail ahead so I took off at a run to catch up with him. I managed to catch up with him after a few hundred feet and he wasn’t anywhere near the screaming. At this point, I really started to wonder what was going on ahead of us. We finally caught up to the people the ahead of us and we found 2 teenage girls huddled by the side of the trail. The one girl was rubbing her left leg with her hands and look very scared and flustered. I of course stopped to see what was wrong and if I could help. It turned out that the girls were out on their horses with their dad. The girl who was rubbing her leg had her horse slip and fall and go down. The horse had landed on her leg and she was definitely sore – though she was OK. Their dad had taken the horses further up the trail to ensure that they were not hurt. I caught up with him in about 3 minutes and stopped and talked to him for a bit. Thankfully, everyone was fine – including the horse that fell. He said that the horse just had its hoofs come out from under it because of the layer of ice on the trail. When they set out on their ride they had not expected any kind of trail conditions the way they were. He was going to turn around and he out before either his kids or their horses got hurt. That was just an example of how icy the trail conditions were. I certainly had not expected the trail to be as icy as it was. There was a fresh coating of snow on the trail from several days earlier but underneath it the snow had been packed into total and complete ice. Once around the horses Lex and I moved into some very remote and desolate country. There wasn’t one sound of people anywhere to be heard. Through the trail is probably heavily used in summertime, it obviously had not seen much use this winter. We came across numerous deadfalls of multiple trees that were covering the trail. I actually like crossing the deadfalls as long as they aren’t too messed up. It is really enjoyable to see Lex run and jump over them. Man – can that dog jump! I always get a smile on my face watching a dog do some serious jumping like this.
We continued into the wild for about 2.5 miles until we reach a point that the snow was starting to get pretty deep. At that point I figured it was time to turn around and head home. I hadn’t brought snowshoes with me and I didn’t want to get too wet or cold so I decided to leave the remainder of the trail for another day. (If I continued east and north on the trail, I would eventually have ended up at Roxborough State Park. This summer I plan to do that hike – I’ll have some one drop me off at one of the trail heads and then hike my way out to the other. All told it will be about a 14 mile hike though some great terrain.) Lex and I headed towards home and another adventure. Since both Lex and Bailey are shedding so much, I decided I was going to wash them. That was a nightmare! Zack even wanted to get in the shower with me and the dogs…. That was NOT going to happen!! I washed Lex on Sunday and then Bailey on Monday morning. Oh my gosh – now I remember why I don’t do this very often!! I am sure we will have some adventures to write about later in the week. Til then – peace!!

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