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A Town for Walking

It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Ouray CO had such an extensive trail system that could be reached right from town. (Torching off a half a tank of gasoline just to get to a trailhead is not my favorite part of the sport of hiking.) It adds so much to a town or city to have recreational trails, greenways, etc. I'm not sure what a town is good for, if you take that away. Household drudgery, job, commute, traffic, big box stores, noise; that's about it.

So Coffee Girl, my Australian kelpie, and I got started the first day. A view looking down on Ouray's hot springs pool comes off as an optical illusion, an arched bridge, if your eye initially grabs it right.

Another pleasant surprise were the number of open views. I was afraid that it would be drab, dark fir-spruce forests all the way up.

Let's hope that's the last mountain postcard on this blog until I leave; I don't have a knack for them and don't find them very interesting. All that matters is that it made the hiking more interesting.

Coffee Girl had no interest in the marvelous scenery whatsoever. But don't think she wasn't having fun: the chipmunks, ground squirrels, and squirrels would only have to chirp, and her body would lock up in launch mode as she waited to pinpoint the direction. Then she would leap and bound up or down the steep slope on the side of the trail.

The third pleasant surprise was the softness of the trail. I was afraid it would be sharp, volcanic rock, which is really tough on dog paws. But it was dirt mostly.

This is a going to be a concentrated period of hiking for me. The mountain biking will have to wait for flatter terrain. Let's hope I overcome some of my aversion to hiking stereotypes. I've got to get over this notion that they are joyless drudges who wear ugly flop hats, drab-olive or khaki clothes, and look like retired professors. In fact a woman crossed our path yesterday who was happy, friendly, and fawned over Coffee Girl.

And finally, pleasant surprise #4: there were no bugs. Maybe that's the advantage of late summer and autumn.


Wandrin said…
So true. Daily walks downtown from my extended campground stay was the highlight of my stop in Ouray. ..... And visiting Bobbie and Mark.
Ted said…
That sounds like a really nice trail. Especially the softness. I've been trying to avoid looking the stereotype but after a couple dozen-mile hikes on rocks I'm about to give in and buy some "real" hiking shoes. These walking-type tennis shoes aren't cutting it.

Lack of bugs is always a plus! Around here I always seem to pick up one lone fly that'll buzz my head for fifty feet or so. I hate to use DEET just for one fly...
Boonie said…
Wandrin, "daily walks downtown"? Those trails go a lot further than that! I hit the bagel place this morning for a good coffee and a toasted bagel with LLoyd-approved butter. Simple, but delicious.

Ted, Don't even get me started on the disposable hiking "boot" syndrome!
Mark said…
Hey Boonie, call us ASAP! Mark and Bj.