Trail Zealot

Colorado hiking, Appalachian Trail thru-hiking, and more...

Feb. 22, 2020, 8:31 a.m.

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My first time in Golden Gate Canyon State Park!! It was on my list last summer, but I never ended up going. I had looked at the map a lot though. I went with Sarah, Sally, and Duffy. And the two dogs :)
At first, I questioned if I even needed microspikes. The terrain felt very similar to Betasso Preserve, which tends to dry out relatively quickly. But the terrain in GGC is a little more varied, and I think snow had touched this place more recently than it touched Boulder. There was a little bit of new snow on the backside of the hike, following Deer Creek. Made for kind of a grind during that long climb. Then we headed up through a forest of closely spaced narrow tree trunks, and I just love that. I can remember hiking in Virginia over Mount Unaka during a rainstorm and having a similar experience. (Full disclosure: The mountain is called Unaka Mountain and it is in Tennessee. I just went back and checked, but I don't want to seem all-knowing. It's intimidating.)
It was a windy day at the beginning, which made the climb a little cold at spots. We were shaded too. Once we rounded the shoulder of Windy Peak, the winds died down and we found ourselves on a sunny, gentle slope. The rest of the hike was cruise control. Sally brought blueberries, which tasted perfect in the moment. I love blueberries. I wanted to pour them all in my mouth.