Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tales from Kobi: Meyer Homestead Trail at Walker Ranch

Mom has a knack for starting our adventures in the afternoon. So, we were traveling up winding Flagstaff Rd. toward the Meyer Homestead Trail about 2:30 when suddenly she put on the brakes. On the left side of the road was a deer. Then she noticed three more just to the right of our car. She got a couple pictures through the open windows and continued. Unfortunately, with all the switchbacks and slow starts, I tossed my kibbles in the back seat. I haven't done that in a long time. Usually I'm a very good traveler. I just curl up and sleep until we reach our destination. Good thing mom had put a towel down. She stopped again to clean up and off we went to the trailhead.

After checking the map at the trailhead, learning it was a 2.6 mile one-way trip, we were off.

Not far up the trail there was an entire herd of deer. There must have been 13 or 14 of them. The sun shone on the prairie grasses and let outlines around the deer, highlighting there bodies. Simply beautiful. Those big guys and gals just stared. I didn't care much, just wanted to move on, but Mom just loves the wildlife. She stops at every chance.

Off to the west of the trail was what she assumes is the homestead. It was a bright spot in the buff meadow as the sun lowered in the afternoon sky.

Oh, that's me. I'm just trucking along. Although the air was reasonably warm, there were still some snow patches and puddles along the way. I love those puddles, but Mom always tries to steer me around them so she won't have to give me a bath. Well, sometimes that works!

Early on there were signs warning of mountain lions. That scares Mom a little bit because I'm just a little guy, but she has never seen a mountain lion or bear so reminded herself of the actions necessary if we did encounter them. We moved on as if in a protective bubble.

Right about this time, I heard Mom exclaim, "Oh, shoot ... the battery's dead." She hadn't recharged her Nikon battery. Well, no worries. She still had her cell phone.

There is a special beauty about the bare aspen groves in winter. They shine a grey-white in the sunlight while standing attention.

I'd love to tell you I took this picture of my mama, but she never lets me take the pictures. It's so good to see some color in her cheeks. I love it when she's happy and somehow nature just nurtures her in so many ways. It's freedom. Introspection. Listening to the quiet except for her footfalls that crunch in the hardened snow in spots and the dirt trail in others.

There was a lot of "up" on this trail and Mom began to question if she could make it to the terminus before the sun set. She pushed it a bit close. Fortunately, a runner who passed her earlier was coming back down. Said the terminus was only about a 5 minute run down. That probably meant a 15 minute continuance up. Whew! We would make it.

Here we are at the bench at the trail terminus. The bench has a bronze plaque with the initials JDW--James D. Walker for whom the ranch is named.

This picture does not do the vista justice. The expanse of the snow-topped Rocky Mountains was stunning. We took just a few minutes to sit and take in the view and rest. If we'd come earlier it would have been a wonderful place to eat a snack, breathe in the fresh air, and contemplate.

On the way down with the sun waning, the Aspens brighten with their white-grey bark.

And the colors of the meadow brush heighten.

We got to the car just in time to see the black silhouette of the Rocky Mountains against the sky. So glad we weren't walking the trail in the dark. Mom gave me water. She snacked on nuts on the drive home. It was a good day. We're back in the groove.