Get out and enjoy another splendid Grand County fall | SkyHiNews.com

Get out and enjoy another splendid Grand County fall

Diana Lynn Rau
Grand County Trails

Diana Lynn Rau

My morning bike rides have been so relaxing, letting me prepare my thoughts for the day. The abundant rains have provided a virtual carpet of flowers all summer long with beautiful blues, soft violets, and vibrant yellows and reds.

But the seasons march on and the cold nights leave very few flowers from the lower valley to the high country. Some hardy ones hold one only to be consumed by the abundant deer, elk and moose. And those animals aren't shy! They have cleaned out my planters of petunias lining my back deck and parts of the vegetable garden next to the house that aren't covered in the evening. And my son's BB gun has only occasionally kept them away.

But the memories of beautiful flowers on the trails, at homes and lining the city streets will soon have to replace the real thing. Mother Nature has instead made the display of the ages for all to see lining the hillsides. When the pine beetles and drought destroyed many of our lodgepole pines, Mother Nature planted many new little trees that now have had enough water and sun to make themselves known. Groves of aspen have sprung up almost overnight covering acres where pines once stood. Our residents have conscientiously cut dead trees and removed the logs and slash to reveal the new growth. Now we revel in the golden hues of those aspen and have been surprised this year with the abundance of oranges and reds, maybe a result of the wetter summer.

The buzzing of saws can be heard as people drop trees and burn slash to both clean up and to provide heat in their homes for the winter. We are doing the same on trails throughout the county. If anyone still needs wood for the coming winter, call me at 970-887-0547 to volunteer one short day on the Fraser to Granby trail and take home all the wood you need. Plus feel satisfied with the contribution you have made to our system of trails.

Volunteer party

And you are appreciated for your volunteer efforts. If you have adopted a trail to maintain and clean up as your very own, Headwaters Trails Alliance has organized a Volunteer Appreciation Party for Oct. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at the HTA office. Call 970-726-1013 or email gcadoptatrail@gmail.com for details. Check for more fall projects on the HTA website http://headwaterstrails.org and help out somewhere for whatever time you have to give back to the trails you use and love.

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Gear swaps coming

It's time to evaluate your winter gear and take advantage of the Annual Alpine Ski Swap at Winter Park Resort benefitting the Competition Center. Get last year's gear for discounted rates or take advantage of individuals selling their personal used equipment on Friday evening, Oct. 10 (entrance fee) and all day Saturday, Oct. 11 (free to the public).

For the Nordic skiers, the free Annual Grand Nordic Ski Swap will be Friday night, Oct. 24, at the Devil's Thumb. Ranch Take advantage of specials by YMCA-Snow Mountain Ranch, Devil's Thumb and the Winter Park Trading Company plus equipment offered by individuals. See http://www.grandnordic.org for details or call 970-887-0547.

Color feast

These next two weekends are prime color in the highlands. Get out – take a hike, a bike ride, a backpacking trip, a motorcycle or car ride to really see nature's abundance. Drink in that golden nectar and don't forget your camera! The images need to last until spring.

Soon the snow will start covering the mountaintops and then the valleys and we'll be on those boards once again to enjoy the incredible beauty that is Grand County. Hopefully I'll see you at Public Lands Day on Sept. 27 at the Inn at SilverCreek or out on the trails. I'll be back in mid-October with Grand Nordic Trails!

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