Grand County Places I love
October 15, 2010
“My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been” Diane Arbus, photographer
To know a place, truly know a place, you must spend time in it.
A great way to do this is to run, walk, hike, bike, ski or camp where you’ve never been.
Here are some of my favorite places in Grand County:
Fraser River Trail – My favorite lunch break trail run starts from the parking lot at the Fraser Visitor Center. I run south through Rendezvous and Hi Country Haus and loop back on the paved section that parallels Route 40. I am always mesmerized by Byers Peak in the distance, and the view always takes my mind of the monotony of running.
Meadow Creek Reservoir – The first week I lived in Grand County I drove to Meadow Creek Reservoir. It was May and the reservoir was still frozen. It was the most spectacular blue sky day as me and my dog wandered around the reservoir and hiked the trail to Columbine Lake. Last month I went back for the first time since that first perfect day and camped by the reservoir. We were the only ones there and had a campfire and the best campfire meal ever: pork loin and potatoes.
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Lake Granby, Sunset Boat Ramp – I love riding my bike out to the boat ramp and imagine it as the transition area for a Grand County Road Triathlon. Maybe one day we will have one here.
Vasquez Pass Trail -Vasquez Pass is the perfect trail: a river runs through it, it’s in a wilderness area, there are great places to camp, and just before the climb begins, there is a beautiful meadow for a rest stop. Vasquez Pass is my adopted trail and one of the best days on it was with Kymmie Scott, Adopt-A-Trail coordinator from the Forest Service. We sawed trees (with a hand saw because it’s in wilderness) and re-routed a small section of the trail to move it away from water. As we hiked, we talked about the ecology of the landscape and we talked about our lives. As we finished our hike Kymmie spotted a Boreal Toad, Colorado’s only alpine species of toad, and an endangered species in Colorado and New Mexico – a very rare find.
Biking from downtown Granby to Hot Sulphur – It’s flat and fast; it’s fun to see how fast I can ride. There is a wide shoulder in both directions so I can occasionally chat with my bike partner. We bike past the Colorado River, The Sheriff Ranch, and horses in fields; I feel like I’m in a Cormac McCarthy novel.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake to the Alpine Visitor Center -The last week of September I biked to The Alpine Visitor Center with training partner Kim. We weren’t planning on going all the way to the top but she kept pushing me farther and farther until we had no choice but to get to the top. It was a beautiful fall day with a blue, blue sky. Aspen leaves were turning and there was not much wind. One of the toughest, most scenic bike rides in the county.
I’ve said it before in this column, and I’ll say it again: it’s not where you are, but who you are with. So if you’re lucky enough to live here, grab a friend, your husband, wife, son, daughter, boyfriend, girlfriend, or dog, and go find a new place you’ve never been then vote for it here: skyhidailynews.upickem.net