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Fragments: Hiking & bir…

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Fragments:  Hiking & bird watching as spiritual practice

by Emmy Savage There is probably no more bitter or pessimistic piece of writing in all of literature than T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.  In the final section he describes a landscape where there is no water.  Then he asks us to imagine what it would be like if there were water, and the […]

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Four classic Crestone ar…

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Four classic Crestone area hikes

by Thomas Cleary Willow Lake The ultimate classic Crestone hike is Willow Lake. To find the trailhead, go east on Galena Ave. for 2 bumpy miles. The trail heads east out of the parking lot for a few hundred yards then bears right leaving the South Crestone Trail, and immediately crosses the creek. After a […]

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Floating the Grand Cany…

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Floating  the Grand Canyon

by Thomas Cleary Living beneath a narrow slice of sky for 16 days and nights is a magical experience not to be missed and never to be forgotten. Floating Our group of 14 pushed off from Lee’s Ferry, AZ in 4 rubber rafts and one cataraft, plus 2 inflatable kayaks, heading 225 river miles to […]

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Winter trails & Colorad…

Comments Off on Winter trails & Colorado cabins: A unique wonderland
Winter trails  & Colorado cabins:  A unique wonderland

story and photos  by Thomas Cleary I have been walking all day across the top of the snow, this time on skis. The sky is brilliant blue, and the snow surface consists of a few inches of light powder on top of a firm old snow surface. During the night, in places where cold air […]

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Hiking to Willow Lake

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Hiking  to Willow Lake

by Thomas Cleary “It’s frozen! The lake is still frozen!”  —Kailou, age 11, June 2010   Willow Lake does not allow summer to visit. At over 11,564 feet it keeps spring waiting at the door until June, but fall is welcomed as early as August or September. The trail up Willow Creek by contrast is […]

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Avalanche avoidance basi…

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Avalanche avoidance basics

by Thomas Cleary Over the last 20 years, there has been an average of 6 avalanche deaths in Colorado and 22 nationally per year. Of those national deaths, forty percent were skiers and snowboarders in the backcountry or just outside of ski area boundaries (http://geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche). This winter a patroller at Wolf Creek was caught and […]

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Hiking the Liberty Trail…

Comments Off on Hiking the Liberty Trail circuit – A walk in the park with some ‘old goats’
Hiking the Liberty Trail circuit – A walk in the park with some ‘old goats’

story & photos by Larry Calloway I was privileged in mid July to take a long walk with a team of five remarkable retirees. They are fierce in their love of mountains and their defiance of the inconveniences of aging. Median age: 69. The five-day backpack was 37.6 miles long and 8,870 feet high. Our […]

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Off the beaten path, bu…

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Off the beaten path,  but still on the trail,  in the high Sangres

by Thomas Cleary Are you looking for a hike that will avoid the 14ers crowds, but still get you up into the high Sangres? Rito Alto Creek Trail is a nice option that reaches a lake within 7 trail miles and 3000 feet elevation gain; and as a bonus, a loop and several side hikes […]

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Cottonwood Creek trailhe…

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Now it just needs money & multi-agency cooperation to make it happen by Matie Belle Lakish The Crestone-Baca Planning Commission met in special session to gather community input on possible access to Cottonwood Creek Trail. The gathering, on November 7 at the POA Hall, was well attended by citizens and agency representatives, all with an […]

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The mysteries of Liberty…

Comments Off on The mysteries of Liberty Trail: On hiking to the Dunes
The mysteries of Liberty Trail: On hiking to the Dunes

story & photos by Katherine Michalak   It’s 5:59am, and today is my day. I’m in shape, there’s no rain in the forecast and the sun won’t set for fourteen hours. I have five quarts of water, a ridiculous amount of food and a topo map. When I sign into the Liberty Trailhead register at the […]

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Penitente Canyon: Hiking…

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Penitente Canyon: Hiking, biking, climbing, & camping, it’s got it all!

by Thomas Cleary A few years back I spent my birthday camped out at Penitente Canyon. The days were bluebird clear and the night sky full of stars. I have climbed in the canyon many times and hiked and biked the trails along the canyon rim a bit. I have basked in the sun on […]

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Hiking: Young at heart -…

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by Will Miles At Curt’s Café on a Friday morning, Will patiently listened to Phil Madonna’s tales of his climbing days and the Fourteeners he had climbed some thirty years ago. Phil became especially sad as he remembered his climb on the Maroon Bells. Days long gone, never to return. Only the flickering of memories […]

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Planning your next hikin…

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Planning your next hiking adventure

Story and photos by Thomas Cleary     This month, I’m outlining the basics of trip planning and encourage you to head out on your own. A variety of factors go into destination and route selection, including your goals, your physical abilities, time frame, and experience. Are you looking for solitude, the magical fishing spot, […]

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The Old Spanish Trail—Tr…

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The Old Spanish Trail—Tracking Down a Trail: Part 2

by Angie Krall (Heritage Program Mgr, SLV Public Lands Center) & Marilyn Martorano (RMC Consultants, Inc) This article is a continuation of last month’s piece on the Old Spanish Trail (OST). In it we discussed in broad terms the OST as a traders’ trail pioneered by Antonio Armijo in 1829 and congressionally designated as a […]

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The Old Spanish Trail - …

Comments Off on The Old Spanish Trail – Tracking Down a Trail: Part 1
The Old Spanish Trail – Tracking Down a Trail: Part 1

by Lorrie Crawford & Angie Krall, SLV Public Lands Center Native Americans in the San Luis Valley pioneered an extensive network of routes and trails for the purpose of hunting, trade and travel.  Spanish, and later other Euroamericans, traveling through the Valley likely utilized, modified and expanded Native American trails in efforts to locate water, […]

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Snow Travel

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Snow Travel
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