While today is April Fools, the snow here is no joke. It snowed yesterday in Boulder, although it’s almost all gone today.
But in the mountains above Boulder I found that the snow was from 6″ to 1′ deep, the heaviest snowpack yet that I have experienced on the snowshoe trails. Today I took the Sourdough Trail in the Roosevelt National Forest (TR, not FDR), starting from the road to the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station at 9,200 feet.
I took it without plan. I just knew that I had to get back to the mountains. Not since Saturday have I experienced the peace that I find in the high country.
That afternoon I hiked the Tenderfoot Trail loop. It was such a sunny and warm day that after looking around at the Continental Divide overlook, I lay down in the dirt to take a nap. In this season no bugs were there to bother me!
Today’s weather was colder and overcast, but free of wind. Not good weather for photographs. But never mind; it was great weather for snowshoeing.
While I had never snowshoed or hiked the Sourdough Trail before, I knew that the only views it offered were of uncounted millions of pine trees. That was enough for me today.
Not until I got to the trailhead did I know where I would go today. I drove first to the mountain community of Nederland, 18 miles west of Boulder, and from there north along the Peak to Peak Highway, which starts south of Nederland and runs north at about 8,000 or 9,000 feet below the Rockies to Estes Park.
At the trailhead was only one car. The trail had only one set of Nordic ski tracks. That turned out to be perfect, because along the trail I met the skier, Rob Roy Ramey II, Ph.D., and enlisted him to take a photo of me. Rob lives in Nederland but is a wildlife biologist who is doing a lot of work in Namibia.
This was the first time that I ever forgot to put on my snow gaiters while snowshoeing. Of course, it was the first time that I ever really needed them.
It as also the first time that I ever wandered a lot off the trail with my snowshoes. When hiking, I have always loved to walk cross-country away from a human path. But today, with no destination in mind, I felt free to wander where my feet took me.
Not the best of days for mountain views. But a great day to be alone in the wilds.