A couple of weeks ago I had the best visitor in town….my sister! While we were planning her visit, she let me know she wanted to see more of Colorado and to see it the way I have been seeing it, by hiking. We only had 5 days to visit and hike, so like a crazy person I planned aggressively, 4 hikes in those 5 days. The day she landed I picked her up fed her and drove her right to the trailhead here for a quick acclimatizing hike.
Spruce Mountain Trail (hike details here) is one of those good an easy hikes to take flatlanders to first. A solid 5.5 miles with a little bit of elevation gain with amazing views all up and down the front range.
When we pulled up and started getting ready to hike I noticed these 2 school buses slowing down at the entrance to the parking lot, for a second I thought maybe it was just dropping off kids after school but it was noon on a Thursday. Sure enough both buses unloaded at the parking lot entrance for a hike….our hike …….. right then. And then they were moving right up the trail ahead of us. Hiking with 100-ish kids seemed like it would be…..crowded.
It was actually not that bad, we needed to move more slowly at first anyway plus we got to talk to some of the teachers. The kids were finishing up their week of outdoor education and this hike was like their graduation. It made me wish I had grown up in Colorado just so I could have outdoor education as part of my school curriculum. Eventually they stopped and had lunch, when we walked past them they all cheered ….. it was kinda cool, cute and encouraging. What a great way to start our week of hiking, with our own cheering section helping us ring in our first hike.
It. Was. Awesome!!!!!
Outside of our fabulous hiking buddies, the day was beautiful and with some wind – perfect. We could see a lot of trail damage from all the flooding the week before, I mean the trail was still in good shape but there were huge crevices all over the place. We had great views of Pikes Peak and the front range but Long’s peak was hard to see because of the brown cloud that tends to sit over the front range. We could sort of see it but not capture it in a picture.
Mary did awesome and we kicked the trail’s butt, finishing in just 2 hours, an hour less than I had planned. Better yet, she loved the trail, the whole time oooohhhiiiinnnngggg and aaaahhhhiiiinnnngggg. It made the hike even more special for me! There is something about getting to share my love of Colorado with the most important people in my life this way. Hiking Rocks!