We arrived just before 10am at the trailhead. Saturday had begun with very little sleeping in, since today was a makeup day for a hike with my son’s Cub Scout den. We met up with my son’s Den Leader and her husband. My son’s BFF was the other scout and the other half of his buddy system.
Coyote Ridge trail is a nice up-and-back hike. About two miles in and two miles back. It is part of a network of trails that links the Devil’s Backbone in Loveland, CO and the Horsetooth trail in Ft. Collins. In between you have Bobcat Ridge, and a series of other trails until the terminus at Lory State Park.
Most of the trails are well-groomed. Coloradans love their open spaces, and these trails give lots of people in the Front Range access to just that. A few common sights you have probably seen of these areas are the Keyhole, Arthur’s Rock, Horsetooth, etc. They choke just about everyone’s Instagram feeds and Tinder profiles who lives within a thirty mile radius. The obligatory “Look at me! I hike!” pictures.
Not a bad place to get second graders started though.
Today, however, the wind was blowing like crazy. A wind up from the South, probably some kind of Chinook wind, as my grandma used to call it, rolling off the mountains. Not necessarily cold, but not that great on the ears either.
We hiked up as a group, mindful of other hikers, mountain bikes, and doing our best to be courteous, and cheerful in spite of the “grueling” miles ahead of us. For kids with little legs, it can be an ordeal.
We adults chatted. The kids ran up ahead. Then wore out. Then complained. Then repeated the cycle. When I hear “Boys will be boys” this is what I think about, not errant destruction. Just kids with big heads and flailing arms, running and jabbering, and living life to the hilt.
Along the way, the boys were supposed to look for signs of life. Animal tracks, scat, etc. They saw bugs. A prairie dog town, and at one point, a rattlesnake, coiled up on the side of the trail. There’s a good reason people from the area call this entire area Rattlesnake Ridge. It’s not ironic.
They made it to the top and then back down again without so much as a skinned knee, try as they might. Snacks were consumed. Water drunk. Mudpuddles stomped dry. By the end, my son was worn out, complaining, exhausted. Just around four miles total and by the time we had gone ten minutes towards home in the car, he was fine again. A refreshing departure from teenagers, I might add.
My foot was seriously hurting from plantar fasciitis, however, and it made me wonder how I’m going to handle urban hiking on my UK trip. I usually use some THC/CBD salve on it, which just immediately stops the pain and relaxes the tendons. I won’t have any of that where I am going, and I don’t need a felony on my record for bringing it with me on my flight. I’ll have to make do without it.
We got home, made some lunch and then went to Avengers: Endgame. We were both entranced. Such a great finale to a series of great movies. I think when my son looks back one day, these movies will be his Star Wars. Just amazing and really great at tying together all the loose threads.
Being a busy Saturday, I still had work to do, so after a three hour movie, which felt more like two hours, we enjoyed some burgers at DQ and headed home. I had two deadline blogs to write for pay and they were due in a couple hours.
Blogs were done at 10:30. Kiddo was sufficiently exhausted and in bed. And I sat back and enjoyed a hard cider while trying to stay awake long enough to watch American Gods.
All in all, a good weekend of Getting Out More.