Monday, March 16, 2020

Hike #12; Social distancing at it's best. Betasso Preserve

Date: March 14th, 2020
Hike Distance: 7.8 Miles
Location: Boulder, Colorado. Betasso Preserve
Hike Start Time: 8:30 AM
Condition: Cool, Foggy
Total Miles: 59.58

Earworms of the Day
Oddly, None that I can remember

The world is getting crazy right now.  There might be a time very soon where we're not allowed to go outside, so I knew I needed to get outdoors and enjoy a hike while I still could.  I decided to invite people with me on this one, because of all the stress and anxiety people have been experiencing.  I chose Betasso Preserve for a few reasons.  In the summer, this trail is super busy, and is a very popular mountain Biking trail.  I figured by getting out here early in the season I could avoid crowds, which is super important right now.  Also, Saturday Mornings are closed to Mountain bikes, so I wouldn't have that to contend with.

A couple friends that wanted to come with me, convinced me to start the hike a little later, and we were good to go.  On the way up Boulder Canyon the weather kept getting a little snowier and foggier.  It wasn't too cold though, so I was getting excited.

The trailhead was a ghost town.  There was one other car total, and the fog was so think you couldn't see more than a couple feet.  I got my stuff together and loaded up the trail on my app.  I had my Fitbit watch today so I started the activity also.  My two friends arrived and we were ready to go.

After I suppressed the urge to steal all the toilet paper from the latrine and sell it online, we got going.  My two companions this week are both runners and so I was a little nervous that I'd be the anchor to their fun, but it seems as if my weekly hikes have got me in okay shape.  I was able to keep pace with them, and my lungs had acclimated to this activity enough to carry on a conversation.

The topic was obviously centered around the Coronavirus and how it's been affecting us.  The three of us had wildly different consequences, but all of them scary and dfficult.  One of them works at a coffee shop and so the prospect of people not going to get food is worrisome and the other is a teacher, so she's not going to be in her classroom for at least two weeks.  She was talking about strategies, but she's a music teacher so it's going to be difficult to do all that she's wanted to for the kids.  My business fixes musical instruments and sells supplies for musicians, so I'm in a tough boat too.

This actually brought up a really great topic though.  WE were talking about how so many things we either start doing for fun or are put into by circumstance we got an "all or nothing" mentality about.  If we can't be the best, or we can't be in a higher caliber, it's really easy to get discouraged and stop.  We talked about needing an "all or something" outlook instead.  I'm not the fastest hiker.  I'm not going to climb everest, or probably ever do the Appalachian trail, but that doesn't mean that what I'm doing is less worth the effort.  My teacher friend might not be able to get through all the curriculum she planned for the year, but that doesn't mean that she can get meaningful knowledge and content to her students.

The trail was wide and well kept.  There were a few slightly icy patches but for the ost part the light dusting of snow allowed the ground to firm up so it was an enjoyable walk.

This particular trail was chosen for another reason. I've got to the point where I really enjoy longer hikes, and I can get them done in a reasonable time frame now, so I don't feel completely satisfied after just a couple miles any more.  This particular park has a great feature in that it has a loop and the a small connection trail to a secondary further out loop.  This allowed people that wanted to get outside but not do anything too far to just do the first loop and I could continue on.

My friends decided to go down the connecting trail to the back loop, but turn around when I started on the second loop because they needed to get back into town by a certain time.  It was great to have them with me.  I'll definitely invite them again some time.

It was now quiet time.  I saw a total of one person on the entire back loop, and didn't see much else besides that.  Lookouts that normally I'm sure would have grand vistas were socked in by a soup-thick fog.  It felt like I was in a little room throughout the hike not being able to see very far, but it was really pretty cool.

The snow was the really pretty kind that clinged to the needles and leaves in the trees.  With the first rays of sunshine the ice crystals would have been gone, but because of the early morning fog they stayed on the tree the whole time.

There was a back trail on the loop that descended down to another canyon road.  Maybe another day I'll come up from that side and check it out, but today that wasn't the plan.  I made my way back to the main loop via the same connecting trail and saw a couple other people, but not too many.  There were a pair of labrador retrievers that were loving the little bit of snow they got to roll around in, and everyone was really friendly while keeping the prescribed distance.

Th second half of the main loop was along the edge of a canyon, and the last mile or so was pretty much all uphill at the end.  I'm not going to lie, my legs were getting heavy at the end.  The fog was still right where it started and I was ready to head down the mountain.

So, if you're a regular reader you'll remember last week when I got frustrated that the Alltrails app automatically shut down my hike distance when I got to the trailhead  I guess I assumed I had this thing figured out, but I was WRONG!  It kept on tracking my distance as I drove all the way down the canyon into boulder, so now my record show's me going almost 16 miles.  One of these days I'll get it down, it just wasn't today.

I'm not sure if it'll be a good idea to hike, or if I'll be staying home for a little while.  I'll try and get out as soon as possible.  Wishing everyone to be safe and not panic, and to get outside as much as possible, even if it's just on your back porch.

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