In my last post, I mentioned that a couple of the hikes I have been on recently were on an urban trail in the outskirts of town.
I had been avoiding that trail for a long time because it is “urban”. By looking at the trail on satellite photos and reading descriptions, I always cued into the fact that the trail is essentially lined with houses. When I go hiking, I like to be out away from town and civilization. It also looked rather barren and boring since there wouldn’t be much of a view seeing that it was down in a ravine. Some of the descriptions mentioned trees and it being a pretty trail, but I didn’t have very high hopes. But in trying to find a trail which I hadn’t been on that wasn’t already covered in snow, I finally decided to check it out. And was very pleasantly surprised.
The creek is rather substantial, and is lined with aspens, cottonwood, willow bushes, and wild roses.
Yes, the rim of the creek ravine is lined with the back yards of the neighborhood houses, but the burbling of the creek easily shut out the noises of town, and the beauty of the creek and the trees eclipsed the fact that there was no view to speak of.
It is a beautiful little gem, and so accessible.
But I wasn’t really expecting much from the next trail I decided to explore. I knew from the descriptions that the only trees along the route were at the very end (the turn around point), but that the attraction at the end (a man-made irrigation canal that comes straight out of the side of the hillside) is pretty cool.
Again, I was very pleasantly surprised.
So, on December 28, I decided to explore this trail that had intrigued me since I first heard about it.
A slightly overcast sky lent a beautiful light to the rolling hills around me.
Up near the irrigation canal, the hills level off a bit and you can see for miles.
At the very end of the trail, there is a small stand of trees, which after miles of nothing but sagebrush, seems magical.
The canal exit from the hillside is not nearly as awesome as described when there’s no water rushing from it.
As I traveled back along the canal on my way toward the car, I saw another trail that headed down through a little rolling valley. I quickly checked the GPS map on my phone and saw that I could take that trail back toward the trailhead.
As beautiful as it was in early Winter, I just couldn’t help imagining what it would be like in the Spring. Crystal clear blue skies, warm sun, green grass covering those hills, dotted with wildflowers.
Yeah, you can bet we’ll be headed back there in, say, April or May!
Or even having a picnic under these trees in the summer. Or playing in the creek.
This trail ended up being just over 3 miles and it took me 1½ hours.
If I hadn’t started training for my thru hike and if I hadn’t joined the 52 Hike Challenge, I might not have been looking for new trails to hike. My experiences in hiking these new trails has taught me to not discount any trails in the area. There is always beauty on any trail you might be hiking, and more often than not, it won’t even be that hard to find.
Kinda like life, I think.
So enjoy the trail you’re on and look for the beauty. It’s there.