Welcome to Colorado True, a blog featuring all things Colorado, but mostly the western slope.
First of all let me apologize for not posting the first of the month, but the world has been out of kilter. I don't philosophize a lot; it's not in my nature. Maybe I should. It might make my blog a little more interesting. But with the COVID-19 pandemic inundating the world I decided to ink a few thoughts. First of all, I think we might be seeing a new normal - a new disease emerging every few years (think ebola, HIV, bird flu, SARS, etc). This may be nature's way of culling a human species that has overpopulated the Earth, putting tremendous pressure on resources, environmnent, and other species. Coronavirus is certainly the most dramatic to date because of its rapid spread across the entire planet. With the advent of globalization, countries and continents are no longer isolated from each other. This apparently comes with some unanticipated consequences such as pandemics. Our collective efforts may mitigate the current epidemic, but not stop it. I think we will only see the end of this coronavirus episode when it has run its course, infecting however many people it's going to infect. However, I see some positives emerging from this crisis, temporary though they may be. We have had to slow the pace of our lives, bonding a little more with family, friends, and strangers, maybe showing a little more courtesy and patience than we normally would. At least I think this is true in my neck of the woods. The environment has also benefited from mankind's misery. The air quality in some of China's largest cities has significantly improved, water in the canals of Venice has cleared, and I suspect there has been a miniscule overall inprovement in the global environment resulting from curtailed industrial activity and reduction in automobile emissions. And finally, my advice for avoiding the virus. Take the words of Edward Abbey below to heart. Get "far from the madding crowd". Go camping or RVing for a couple of weeks. Find a secluded lake to fish. Exercise by hiking or biking in the mountains. Find your place of solitude and isolation in the wilderness. God bless and keep safe.
Posted March 21, 2020. Next post will be May 1.


COLORADO PLACES

This month's Colorado Place is Palisade, located in the heart of Colorado Wine Country.

You say you missed some of the past Colorado Places? No problem! All of the Colorado Places that I haved presented here are archived at Highways-Byways.com.

"....get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space..."

Edward Abbey

Upcoming Events
Most events have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future.

COLORADO PHOTOS

This section contains favorite photos from around Colorado. If you have any awesome Colorado photos you're just dying to share, e-mail them to me and I will put them in the queue (personal snapshots are discouraged - although background figures are OK.) Send a brief description of the photo and also indicate if I can use your first name and town. This month I'm featuring a local artist and sculptor who lives in Palisade. His name is Lyle Nichols and I'm a big fan of his work, which is generally kind of quirky/funky. Hope you don't mind, Lyle.

"Rusty's Dream"

"James"

"Mike" the Headless Chicken

"Jail House Rock"

???

"Alotofbull"

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

This section is devoted to hikes, camping trips, and off-roading. I will be post a new article periodically. We skip over into Utah for this month's adventure. The Sky Pond hike presented below is one of my all time favorite hikes.

Sky Pond Hike - Rocky Mountain National Park

The last time I took this hike was several years ago, but it's still one of my favorites. The hike is 9 miles round trip and total elevation gain is about 1800 feet. I've roughed in the trail on a Google Earth satellite view, and if you click on the map you'll be able to see it a little better. The hike starts at the Glacier Gorge trailhead. After about a quarter mile you will come to Glacier Creek junction; take the left fork away from Glacier Creek Trail. About 8/10 mile along the trail is Alberta Falls, a very popular hiking destination. Keep right at the next trail junction (North Longs Peak junction) . At the junction with Glacier Gorge Trail (Mills junction) continue straight onto Loch Vale Trail. The trail gets steeper after this junction and Loch Vale or "The Loch" is reached at the 2.8 mile mark. Continue past the Loch to the next destination, Lake of Glass (Glass Lake) where Loch Trail turns into Sky Pond Trail. The last quarter mile to Sky Pond is moderately difficult but not exactly "technical". A little scrambling using both hands and feet will get you there. This section is not recommended for people with medical problems or who are out of shape. Also not recommended if precipation in any form is present, although lots of hikers have done this in the snow (crazy). That's it. Enjoy the scenery, have a snack, and retrace your route to the Glacier Gorge trailhead.


Sky Pond Trail


Alberta Falls


Alberta Falls (right) is a 30 foot waterfall located about 0.6 mile from the Glacier Gorge trailhead. It was named after Alberta Sprague, one of the earliest residents of Aspen Park. The trail winds through aspen forests on the way to the Falls, very nice in the fall.
The photo on the right is part of the trail between Alberta Falls and the Loch.


Sky Pond Trail

The Loch - Taylor Peak and Taylor Glacier in the background


The Loch


Loch Vale, commonly know as "The Loch" is a sub-alpine lake and the first one encountered on the way to Sky Pond. The Loch is the largest of the three lakes on this hike and to my mind the prettiest (but not the most dramatic). Taylor Peak (13,153 feet) and Taylor Glacier are directly across from the foot of the lake. Thatchtop Mountain (12,668 feet) is to the south and The Sharkstooth (12,829 feet) is to the southwest.


Just below Lake of Glass there is a waterfall that is not marked on many maps. It also happens to be marmot country.


Waterfall below Lake of Glass


Marmot Varmint


Lake of Glass


Lake of Glass viewed from Sky Pond


Lake of Glass, commonly called Glass Lake. This is the second lake on the trail and the smallest of the three.


Finally, we've reached the end of the trail, Sky Pond. Sky Pond is an alpine lake that sits in a cirque at 10,900 feet. It is surrounded on three sides by sheer cliffs which makes for a spectacular view, especially when the wind is creating whitecaps on the lake. It is above the treeline, with the only vegitation being krummholtz. Taylor Peak's eastern face is at the head of the cirque. The Sharkstooth spires rise to the right and Powell Peak (13,208 feet) is to the south.


Sky Pond


Krummholtz around Sky Pond


Taylor Peak


The Sharkstooth


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