Rau: Summer heats up
Grand County Trails
People are everywhere outside in Grand County – most of our local population lives in Grand County because of what they can do and where they can go. Nature here is spectacular in not only variety of terrain, wildlife and flora but in the challenges nature offers to those who want to enjoy it. It can be a simple walk in the park with a baby stroller or a wild ride down a rushing river.
However you choose to enjoy nature, make sure you are prepared with the appropriate equipment and know how to use it. Yes, we have one of the best volunteer Search And Rescue (SAR) teams in the country here in Grand County. They are often called to assist in back country, on rivers, and in circumstances unfathomable to normal people. But don’t be the cause of needing their assistance.
Local trails have opened up and dried up leading to many backcountry areas not reachable earlier this year. Still there is mud to be avoided sparing those particular trails and meadows for the season to come. If you go, make sure your boots are ready for the mud; not tennis shoes or flipflops in those areas. Flowers are moving from early season flowers to full summer flowers and are incredible in their splendor and variety. As the high country fully opens up, the sheer volume of colors will overwhelm you if you dare venture to those higher trails, meadows and above tree line.
Most important to your safety and comfort is that early season check of your gear. Packs need to be checked for water, extra food, shell clothing, and rain gear among other things. Know your list of the 10 essentials and know what to do with them. Always tell someone where you are going. Life jackets for rivers need to be checked – will they fall apart when someone needs to be pulled back into a boat? Last weekend, a dog was being rescued on the Upper C when his life jacket shredded, dumping the dog. The dog, in turn, bit the person trying to rescue him!
When traveling with others, make sure you have a safety plan in mind. Either the group sticks together or there is a person in charge of a split off group. But stick to your plan. Have an order to your boats or a pickup group in case there is a flip or person (or dog) overboard. Knowing how to swim or how to get to shore is important and, with high water, it is best to leave those older or more excitable furry friends at home. No person should have to endanger their life for a dog as much as we love them.
The Broome Hut is having a Naturalist program the 4th Saturday of June, July and August from noon-1pm. Meet at 11:45am on the hut patio for a fun, free and informative program. No RSVP required. Grand Huts and the Fraser Valley Rec District invite all to join the volunteer naturalists who will be on site for questions from 10am-2pm. Be prepared for weather, carry the ten essentials, and bring water. Visit http://www.fraservalleyrec.org programs-youth- hiking for more information or call 970-726-8968.
Women are cycling every Wednesday night starting about 6pm meeting weekly in various locations . Ladies bike rides are open to anyone but it is recommended that you have intermediate skill level and a functioning bike. The purpose is to have fun and be social with the added benefit of increased fitness! Check out the Facebook page – Grand County Womens Mountain Bikers to see this week’s ride location or email email@example.com to be added to the weekly blast.
THE FLOWER REPORT
From local naturalist Patricia Berman: June 23 Patricia hiked the Fraser to Granby Trail, starting at 10 Mile Drive. She saw Blue Flax (Linum lewisii) which have turned the hillsides sky blue. Also, there is a beautiful short stalked pink flower blooming everywhere on the trail. It is Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva), the Montana state flower. The Lewis and Clark expedition first encountered this flower in late August of 1805. The National Park Service has interesting information about this flower at http://www.nps.gov/lecl/learn/nature/bitterroot.htm. Blue Flax was also collected and described by Meriwether Lewis.
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Middle Park sophomore Dane Jansen led the Panthers at the Colorado 3A Region 1 Cross Country meet Friday at VIX Park in New Castle, capping off an impressive season for the young group of runners.