Finally got out for a hike yesterday, it was lovely! I love hiking, it's my cardio of choice but what with the winter weather and my hubby's knee injury from skiing over the holidays, I haven't been out nearly as much as needed for my mental health (which may explain a lot!).
So I left hubby at home and went by myself to a county hiking area called Horsetooth Mountain Park. Miles and miles of trails and great views and best of all, other people and cell phone coverage in spots (HIGH spots) so I felt relatively safe.
Here's why it's called Horsetooth. This is a huge rock formation and is Fort Collins' landmark peak. We've got a major street and a reservoir and I think even a microbrew named after it.
You can see the weather wasn't the best but I was determined to get my hike on. The region is hilly, these are Rocky Mountain foothills after all, so I went up and down and around. I actually climbed up one side then went down and across a valley and up the other side, over the top of that and back around and down. Almost 7 miles in all and I'm sorry I don't know the official elevation gain but my FitBit said I'd climbed 172 floors! Ha! Burned over 900 calories.
I always feel bad-ass when I find STAIRS on the trail. This is heading up to Horsetooth Rock. The college kids climb to the top as a sort of initiation, when we first moved here we did that, haven't had the calling to do it again.
Passing under the Rock, I didn't see anyone on top of it today.
Then down, down, down, and there was some snow in spots and then across this valley. Saw lots of scat but no elk or deer. Or cougar! (We've never seen a cougar, but they're out there, they have motion cameras that capture pictures of them. Yikes.)
Then, because I was feeling good, instead of heading back to the car, I climbed up the other side. This gives good perspective on just how big Horsetooth Rock really is and just how far I'd gone.
And over the top! That water is Horsetooth Resevoir which is the body of water between the mountains and Fort Collins and has saved us from many wild fire disasters. If you squint, you might see the town.
That's snowy Long's Peak, a 14er in Rocky Mountain National Park under the clouds. The views are amazing.
Coming back around, I am way up high and not liking how the trail is really narrow and on a very steep hillside. You can look down and see the trail way, way down there. That's my way back to the car.
That was fun.