Friday, September 02, 2005

Ft Collins - Cherokee Park

On another recommendation we went to Cherokee Park in the Arapahoe/Roosevelt Nat'l Forest. Another beautiful hike. It's nice when we can get recommendations from people, then you're sure to find some of the most beautiful spots. To get there we drove to MM16 on unpaved 80C. The first mile of the hike was desert bushes and toadstool rocks. Then we hiked about a mile following the North Fork of the Poudre ("pooder") River. Sometimes along or through the river, other times the trail ran through a pine forest. Andy just loves jumping on rocks in rivers, which happens to be one of my unfounded paralyzing fears. So, here he is jumping around, having fun. At least he is a good sport about my fear. He always adds rocks to any stream crossing to make it easier for me. He usually splashes me in the process but I still appreciate the added rocks. When we met with the second river crossing, we just couldn't find the path or a dry place to cross. We were so content with the setting, we just sat in the shade of some pines on the river's edge and enjoyed the peace and quiet. We quickly forgot to look any further for the trail.

On a drive between Longmont and Ft Collins we saw our first forest fire. We could see the smoke moving up the slope of the foothills just north of Boulder. The smoke settled into the valleys between each ridgeline creating a surreal site and turning the clouds a pinkish coloring well before sunset.

New Belgium Microbrewery (makers of Fat Tire) is hosting Bike-In Movie Nights every Thursday night for six weeks. Proceeds go to ArtsAlive! here in Ft Collins. It's $2 to get in for the movie, and beers are $2 each...and they have some gooood beers! Last night was our second night biking in. It's great fun...we biked downtown via the bike path, watched a movie on a blow-up screen, sitting outside under the stars in cool weather. It doesn't matter what the movie is because the setting just makes it fun. It's also great to see how big of a crowd these types of events draw. Both nights were packed by the start of the movie (cartoons - good ole Bugs, Elmer, and gang - kept the crowd quiet while people set up their chairs and blankets). I do recommend having headlights and taillights to get there and back safely! Last night on the bike ride in we saw a beautiful fox cross the path in front of us. We had heard that there are a number of them in the city, but this was our first sighting. Quite larger than I expected one to be.
On a side note: Check out their Sustainability page. Colorado is very progressive on Green Buildings and recycling. I thought New Belgium was impressive when I heard the plastic cups used at these Movie Nights were made of cornstarch...which will biodegrade in about one week. Good news for our landfills! Support their efforts - drink more New Belgium beer :)

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