[all photos: roxanne carter]
i’d planned to stay in denver past the conference to visit with friends and unwind. we talked about hiking, and planned to go to arapaho national forest in evergreen and hike to maxwell falls. this was a lovely drive northwest into the mountains, along roads lined with cabins and creeks. an amusing part of the drive was checking out how each person had arranged their chairs & tables in their favorite creek spot on their property.
i am not used to hiking at high elevations, but i think i did pretty well. we saw lots of happy dogs along the way, and many lovely wildflowers, until we came to the waterfall itself, a series of cascades among trees and fallen rocks. the water was refreshingly above freezing temperature, so we stuck our feet in for a bit.
on the way back, we decided to take a spin through red rocks. i have seen it in pictures, and we have similar rock formations north of los angeles, but this canyon was breathtaking to see in person. things are in bloom this time of year, so the contrast of dusty to verdant greens with occasional bright poppies against the rust-colored formations was striking. we took a walk on a main trail near the entrance, attempting to charm cottontail rabbits into posing for pics along the way. every so often, you’d catch a breath of this very scented flowering tree, but i don’t know what it is.
on the way back home, a lightning storm blew in, and we watched bolts zap their way to the ground in the distance. this was a nice, refreshing way to decompress from the intensity of the conference. i have never spent time in colorado before, and i was surprised how denver appealed to me as a place with beautiful scenery and ever-present history. we’ll be coming back in winter to visit again.