Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."


Stanley Canyon Revisited

One of Renee's cousins in Denver brought her three kids down to spend a day with us this weekend. I thought this would be an ideal time to revisit Stanley Canyon -- a place I haven't been since that aborted Memorial Day Weekend trek that took us about 3/4ths of the way to the reservoir. Mind you, this is a big climb -- especially for a 1st grader who has never hiked more than a mile on a flat surface (Stanley Canyon Trail is a 5-mile round trip with an elevation gain of more than 1,400': akin to climbing to the roof of the Sears Tower from the basement).

The boys were eager at the start, scrambling over the roots and rocks with their hiking sticks. But then we discovered one of the perils of high-country hiking in November:

Once we neared the saddle in the ridges, the snow pack and ice became the prevalent feature on the trail. Note that, though I brought eight bottles of Powerade and four Lunchables, I packed zero gloves and zero jackets. So we pressed on for probably another half-mile, including scaling a five-foot tall waterfall, until we reached a rather precarious fallen-tree bridge over the stream with ice on either side. So we turned back, coming within a couple hundred yards of the dam.

At least we got to see the B-1B bomber fly-over for the kickoff of the Army Black Knights-Air Force Fighting Falcons football game (Air Force crushed Army, 35-7, after hosting ESPN Gameday that morning at Fairchild Hall in front of the Cadet Chapel).

We also got stuck in post-game traffic leaving the Academy after our hike....

But no serious falls (just a couple minor slips on the ice) and the boys can now honestly tell their parents they've out-hiked them!


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