Saturday, May 16, 2020

Hike #13: Full Moon Hike at Chautaqua.

Date: April 7th, 2020
Hike Distance: 2.2 Miles
Location: Boulder, Colorado. Chautaqua Park
Hike Start Time: 9:01 PM
Condition: Cool, Clear, Mild Wind
Total Miles: 61.78

What a crazy Couple of Months.  The irony that my activity that I used to get away from people, became an activity that I couldn't do.......because I had to keep away from people was not lost on me.  I hope everyone's feeling good, and is taking care of their family and being safe in whatever things they are doing. 

We were getting cabin fever pretty bad last month, but wanted to go out and do things as safely as possible, so we decided to go for a hike, in the pitch dark, on a full moon night.

It was super fun, and I'm sorry that I'm writing this article so far after when it happened, but I've been pretty down about not being able to go out and hike more, so I didn't really feel motivated to be writing.

We looked for a park that was open late at night so we weren't violating any rules, and then looked for somewhere close enough to home that we were staying within our community.  Lastly, we looked for a park that the trails were graded and easy to navigate.  No sense in going for a hike and getting lost in the woods forever.

The perfect choice that we found was Chautaqua Park in Boulder.  The other nice thing about going here, is that normally that is one of the busiest parks in Boulder, so there was no way I was going there during the day for the foreseeable future. 

We took a drive down to Boulder and the moon was starting to rise in the sky.  We suited up and got a couple flashlights in case it got too dark, and started up along the creek.  We could hear the water running, and the moon was coming through the branches as it hadn't got too high in the area.  I had read some trail reports that there was still a little snow and mud on certain trails so we opted to stay away from those.

This is where I get to tell you about how a 7 year old gets pretty freaked out about walking in the dark through the woods.  It took everything in my snarky, terrible soul to not try and scare the bejeezus out of her on a regular basis, but I was able to control my inner prankster and try to make her feel comfortable.  We'd explain noises and let her blink her flashlight into a bush now and then.  It took about 3/4 of the hike to get her comfortable.

The hike was really nice.  There was a little wind but the temperature was a nice cool spring morning. As the moon got higher up above the treetops the trail was illuminated better and better.  We came to a really nice little clearing on a ridge that looked down over the city of Boulder, and I felt really lucky in this moment to have people that I could actually stand being around 24 hours a day in my life during our stay at home order.

It was so refreshing to be outside, and I missed and longed for the mountains again.  I know it's been difficult for those of us that had decided to sequester ourselves from the trails we love to explore.  Every time I'd go to the grocery store on a clear day (one of the only times I went out) I'd see the front range on the horizon calling to me and I wondered when I'd get to go and enjoy them again.

We took a little detour from our planned route on the way back from the loop based on trail conditions, and found ourselves crossing the creek and heading down the other side.  We were talking about how if there were any animals out and about we'd never know it, because they were most likely watching us without us ever knowing. 

Right about that time I looked to the right and saw a group of deer casually munching on some grass not more than 12 feet away.  They didn't seem to pay us any attention, so it was a really cool surprise. 

WE made our way back down the hill and past the historic cabins, and got back to the car.  I'm sorry I don't have more details on this one, but it was a little while ago.  Enjoy some of the cool Moon and night shots we got.  Obviously It's a little harder to take pics at night.

I did get to go on a hike proper today, so I'll be writing up that report and sharing it very soon.  I'm going to try and go mid-week and super early in the morning so I can start getting out more, but still put myself in the best position to social distance and stay safe.

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