Yesterday was a beautiful day and we took a ride through Garden of the Gods and up Rampart Range Road - a 36 mile dirt road that goes through Pike National Forest and on up to Rampart Reservoir, a recreation area owned and operated by Colorado Springs Utilities.
Along the way we stopped to retrieve two caches, both of which led us to gorgeous views of Pikes Peak.
Bill took a few minutes to relax and enjoy the view before we headed up the road (and I do mean up!)
This is the site of the 2nd cache we found - hidden in the rocks. Both of the caches along Rampart Range Road were relatively easy finds after short hikes. Since our primary goal was a good hike, we continued up to the park, paid our $5 (which would have been $2.50 if I had remembered to bring my Senior Parks Card) parked and headed down the trail to Nichols Reservoir - the smaller of the two reservoirs in the area.
The view from the trail was great. If you look very closely at this picture, you can see the reservoir in the distance. The trail is a fairly steep hike down.
We encountered this cute little chipmunk down by the water. The chipmunks here in Colorado are bigger than the ones I remember from back east.
He was sitting on a huge boulder. I really like the colors and textures of the rock.
We walked all around the reservoir. They have a nice dirt trail with side paths down to the best fishing spots. There were quite a few people out fishing. All of the parks and outdoor spaces here in Colorado are well used by the residents and visitors. The Colorado Lottery proceeds help the state to acquire more land and make improvements to existing open spaces.
This meadow at the far end of the lake was in full bloom with wildflowers. The pines smelled wonderful. We just love hiking on days like this!
This picture gives you a little better idea of the size of the lake. The circum-ference is about 2 1/2 miles. The larger reservoir, Rampart Reservoir, is huge in comparison.
This is supposed to be the best spot for fishing. There is a group of young fisher-people on the bank. When we hiked by and asked how the fishing was, they offered Bill an ice-cold beer. Nice.
After walking about 3/4 of the way around, we hiked straight up the this hill to locate a geocache in the rocks - the group at the very top. Believe me, this picture does not show the size or elevation of the hill!
The clue said to "look in the crack to find the cache" so I climbed between the rocks. It wasn't there.
Bill found it under this rock. This site is only 1/10 of a mile from the lake - but that short hike took us up almost 300 feet! We're too old for that kind of climb - especially at an altitude of just under 9000 feet! It was a real challenge - and we still had to climb back down, finish our hike around the lake and climb back up to the parking lot.
Even though the hike was a killer, we sure did enjoy the view from the top - with Nichols Reservoir below.
By the time we got to the car, I was ready to drink a huge Diet Coke - and just sit.
Mike and Mel are arriving today for a short visit on their way back to Missouri. We always enjoy the time we get to visit with them. I'm especially looking forward to the meal that Bill started cooking early this morning while I was at the gym.