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Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Monday, May 14, 2012

Narrow Gauge Trail

The past few days here we have not had the greatest weather...not the worst by any means, but generally chilly damp and windy. In fact, we are wondering if the wind ever stops blowing around here? The mornings have not been bad, Saturday was even quite sunny in the morning, but by mid-afternoon the clouds roll over the mountains from the west, and a chilly drizzle starts in. Both Friday and Sunday were work days, the morning shift, so by the time we finished at 2PM and had lunch, there wasn't much to be done outside. We did manage to catch up on a bit of TV that we'd TIVO'd, I caught up on budget paperwork, and continued researching areas to check out and side trips to be taken when we have a block of days off.

Saturday, though, was a day off for us, and since it was sunny and warmer in the morning, we tackled another nearby trail, the Narrow Gauge Trail off of County Road 162. This is in the San Isabel National Forest, directly across the highway from our campground. The trail follows an old narrow gauge railroad route of a train that ran from Nathrop to Saint Elmo (what is now the historic ghost town we visited a couple of weeks ago). The trail hugs the north side of Chalk Creek Canyon, directly across from the imposing bulk of the Chalk Cliffs. It is a one way trail, going out and back the same way, and is 4.4 miles total length. Its fairly level, with a gradual ascent all the way to the end, making the return trip a bit easier at a gradual descent ;-).

Off we go

Beautiful views of the canyon floor

The Chalk Cliffs to our north

Don't walk too far to the right...its a long way down!

Chelsea always lets us now when its time to stop for a rest in the shade

Mount Princeton's snowy peaks to the north

The trail ends at the Cascades Falls..you really hear it before you see it

Pine trees starting to cone out....love the bright red tips!

Headed back...views of the canyon in reverse

This week we are off today and tomorrow, work Wednesday through Friday, and then off Saturday and Sunday. Our workdays have increased in hours, though and we'll be on all day rather than 5/6 hours. Next week we work Monday, and then Friday Saturday Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, can't believe it's here already! We're about 3/4's booked for the weekend, with reservations coming in every day. I fully expect it to be full to capacity! In the meantime, we need to amuse ourselves today, and as they have re-opened Cottonwood Pass, I think a drive up there is in order for this afternoon. Plus, having 3 days off in a row next week, I'm planning on going down to Durango and Mesa Verde before the summer crowds hit. I've always been fascinated with Mesa Verde, and am looking forward to spending the day there. So stay tuned, new adventures are around the corner!

7 comments:

  1. Gorgeous scenery along that hike!

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  2. Beautiful hike. I am just in awe of how beautiful our country is. Life is great!

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  3. Kevin's father is in Durango.

    Sue

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  4. I just love hiking in Colorado. I have never seen the red tips on pine trees. There are 3 hikes starting at the campground in Mesa Verde National Park and several hiking areas outside of the town of Cortez.

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  5. Expect to be totally in awe when you visit Mesa Verde!

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  6. You have a great area for workamping and sightseeing. I love Colorado and hope to get back. Enjoy Mesa Verde.

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