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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

High Plains Prairie Trail

February 16th, 2009 · 5 Comments

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In my quest to hike every mile of every trail in Boulder County I studied my maps today. Starting from my apartment in South Boulder, my eyes quickly hit on Windy Mesa and the Wind Tunnel Trail just to the south.

On a normally windy winter day this would be the last place I would want to hike. But the temperature reached 60 degrees here today, and the wind was light.

However, when I got to the trailhead I discovered that the city has permanently closed the Wind Tunnel Trail, which crossed the mesa. Instead, the new High Plains Prairie trail skirts it.

Fine by me and one more trail to explore. I had hiked only a short section of this trail about a year and one-half ago. Here is a view of the trail looking back toward the Rockies:

The High Plains Prairie Trail Looking Toward Eldorado Canyon and the Rockies

The High Plains Prairie Trail Looking Toward Eldorado Canyon and the Rockies

I had to lie down flat in the dirt to get this picture today. Yes, it’s just a dead plant silhouetted against the sky, but it’s beautiful and was worth getting dirty:

Plant and Sky

Plant and Sky

You know you are on the high plains when you see a lot of prairie dogs. And I saw hundreds of these cute little critters today:

Prairie Dog in the Near Distance

Prairie Dog in the Near Distance

This must usually be about the windiest part of the high plains prairie, because the trail is just across the road from the nation’s wind center. It’s the National Wind Technology Center and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The trailhead I started from is just 1.2 miles down the road and the trailhead at the other end is just 0.3 of a mile from it.

As a bonus, here is a shot that I got while I was hiking the Coal Creek Trail a few days ago:

A Robin near Coal Creek

A Robin near Coal Creek

A further bonus is this shot from my living room window a couple of days ago at first light. In fact, this was all the light we got on an otherwise totally overcast day. But what light!

First Light on Tantra Lake

First Light on Tantra Lake

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Posted in: Hiking

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert K Fenton // Feb 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Five beautiful pictures! Excellent composition and interest.

  • 2 David Mendosa // Feb 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Dear Bob,

    Many thanks. As you know, at this time of year landscape shots don’t come easy here!

    Best regards,

    David

  • 3 Robert K Fenton // Feb 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    From what you have shown in several blogs – you seem to do quite well! The color contrast and lighting make for some interesting scenery shots and you have captured them well!

    I still believe you should consider a book effort with some of the interesting scenery shots that you have shown us.

  • 4 David Mendosa // Feb 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Dear Bob,

    You and several other people have encouraged me to publish my photos and essays in a book. It is possible. I also want to write a book about low-carb diets. In both cases, many such books on those subjects exist, but I think I have a somewhat different take — and I’ve already written lots on both subjects!

    Best regards,

    David

  • 5 woofy // Mar 30, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Bob,

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures, all are absolutely stunning, and FIRST LIGHT, takes you right there into the photo. God has blessed you.

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