1/20/2020 – Cripple Creek Trail – 703

Date of Hike: 1/20/2020
Location of Hike: Cripple Creek Trail
Trail Number: 703
Weather during Hike: Overcast
Hiking Buddies: Jet and Thor
Start Time: 10:20 AM  End Time: 1:30 PM
Hike Distance: 4.25 miles  Elevation Gain: 1600 feet
Pictures: Link
Todays hike was a bit different than normal. I had the day off (MLK Day), and the weather was supposed to be pretty good (for January). Alyssa was bringing Sadie over for Gail to babysit in the afternoon and she typically brings Jet as well. I thought I could take him with Thor and I earlier. Nicholas and I took Thor and Jet hiking last year and it went pretty well, so I was pretty confident I could handle two dogs by myself.

I headed over to pick up Jet and then we headed out. It is a relatively short drive to the Cripple Creek trailhead, which is a good wintertime hike. I didn’t think I’d need my snowshoes, although it turned out they would have been useful farther up the trail.

We got to the trailhead a little after 10:00 – I had to get myself ready before I let the dogs out of the truck, and I wanted to keep them on their leashes for at least the beginning of the trip – at least until we got out of view of the road. We headed up the trail and I was getting assisted up the hill by two dog power:

We got to the first rockslide and I wanted to experiment a bit with my new drone – my Christmas present. I haven’t flown it much yet, so I’m only trying to fly it relatively close and within eyesight. This was the view looking south(ish):

And here is the same general direction from the drone (much better photo!):

Drone video:

After I flew the drone for a few minutes, I packed it up and we continued up the hill. There was essentially no snow for the first bit of the trip, but as we ascended, we started to see more and more snow. This is a picture of the dogs just after we hit some snow:

Right next to the trail is a really nice spring – great place for water. It also has a very nice “bowl” that makes it great for dogs to drink out of. Jet decided to get a drink:

And close by that, I noticed this tree root. I wonder if some animal has been sleeping here?

We continued up and the snow got deeper and deeper, especially in the cut area. We soon got to the first crossing of the 130 spur where the dogs played for a bit. I was thinking that the upper crossing would be a great place for lunch. But one of my favorites places on this trail is the section between those two crossings:

I’m guessing the snow was about a foot deep in here, which made moving rather difficult since I didn’t bring my snowshoes. I figured the upper road crossing would be a good spot to turn around.

We shortly made it up to the second crossing where we stopped and had lunch and the dogs played for while. Here are some videos I took:

Video of Jet and Thor chasing snowballs:

Video of Jet catching snowballs in his mouth:

Thor doing his “beaver” imitation in the snow and him and Jet playing:

After eating lunch and letting the dogs play for a while, we headed back down.. The trip back down was pretty quick and uneventful, minus one interesting thing. We were just east of the hillside meadow when both Jet and Thor wanted to head downhill off trail. I thought they heard some animal or something – Thor came back but Jet continued – he walked over to a tree and found this (which he promptly brought back):

Both of them had smelled this bone from 15-20′ from the trail! The both have pretty good sniffers!

After that, we headed back to the rockslides where I took the drone up again and took some photos (on the first flight I just took some video). After the quick flight, we headed down to the truck, loaded up and headed home. The dogs were both pretty tired and slept the whole way home.

A great day to spend MLK day!

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