Monday, November 16, 2015

Silent hike in the Ramapo mountains

Ramapo silent hike
Sunday was a beautifully sunny day, and I joined the Ramblers for their first-ever "silent hike." For maybe a third of the hike we took a vow of silence, although we were promised to be released from our vows if any true emergencies arose. (None did.)  "Silent hike" was actually a misnomer, though: With the leaves fresh off the trees, we kicked up quite a ruckus as we walked.

The Ramapo mountains are part of the Appalachians, although "mountain" seems excessive, as the tallest are about 1,200 feet. Still, they are scenic, and the leafless trees meant we had better views than we would have in summer.

Ramapo silent hike

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hiking Mt. Falcon

Summer home
I was in Denver for a conference, so I stayed an extra day to spend time with friends. On Sunday, we hiked Mt. Falcon in nearby Jefferson County.

The hike was 8 miles round-trip, with 2,000 feet of elevation gain. It was an unseasonably warm and beautiful day, even though we saw some small patches of snow, and we took it at a relaxed pace.

The hike has two non-natural highlights. One is the ruins of a mansion belonging to an early media magnate. The other, pictured above, is the site of a planned summer home for the president. Mind you, nobody checked with the White House, yet thousands of Colorado schoolkids donated their cents to the cause. Nothing was ever built.

The views were nice as well, very open in all directions. I've never seen Colorado at this time of year before. Everything was browner than summer, although the peaks weren't as snowy as they'd get in winter.

But I didn't see any falcons.

Sunday, November 1, 2015