Right after the last blog post, we had a winter storm warning issued for our area here in Boulder. We woke that Monday morning to a beautiful snow-laden landscape! The roads were too warm to keep the snow, so they stayed just wet. We must have gotten about 4-6 inches on the grass, in this area, and I’m sure the mountains got more! I guess I got my snow fix! It was beautiful, but now we are back to 70-75 degrees F, beautiful weather for more walks and hikes.
The past 2 weeks we have hiked to Crater Lake near Nederland in the mountains (that was just before the snow!), Mount Sanitas west of Boulder, and the Enchanted Mesa trail of the Chautaugua in south Boulder. We’ve done babysitting with the grandkids (Jeni’s daughters), bike-riding and of course, being the foodies that we are, have found some great area eateries. I’ve walked almost every day, have seen some great amazing sunrises
and sunsets, and recently we visited the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, which is northeast of Denver.
So we had planned a hike up in the mountains and drove about an hour to get there. When we got there, the Lost Lake at the Hessie trailhead parking lot was full, and we needed to drive back to the small town of Nederland, to take a shuttle back to the trailhead. We got back to town and visited the Information Center. The attendant there gave us other options and a map. So chose Crater Lakes Trail near the Moffit Tunnel. Didn’t look too bad on the map. So we ate some lunch and drove out to the trailhead. Well, we started at 9200 feet of elevation! And I was pretty short of breath the entire 2+ hours that we hiked up an additional 2000 feet of elevation over 3 miles. So the entire hike was 4 hours, and 6 miles. My body hurt! But the views were spectacular (below) when we got to the lakes. Apparently there is one more lake, a higher up climb, but we didn’t do that. This was enough for this weary ole’ body. But I’m glad we did it. I have an app called AllTrails, and we usually check that for level of difficulty “easy”, “moderate” or “hard”. Well, we didn’t check before we did this hike, but when we got back, I did, and AllTrails notes this trail as “hard”! Next time, I’ll pick the trail!
We also hiked to Mount Sanitas just west of Boulder (below). I chose this hike, because the level of difficulty was “moderate” on my AllTrails map.
Another hike we had, level of “easy” was the Enchanted Mesa trail at the Chautaugua trail (below). This trail is located where the Chautaugua park is. Still some elevation, but more of a nice hike. But my body still hurts! HAHA.
The Chautaugua movement was an adult education movement in the US. highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua (originated in New York) assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day. The popularity of the Chautauqua movement can be attributed in part to the social and geographic isolation of American farming and ranching communities. People in such areas would naturally be hungry for education, culture and entertainment, and the Chautauqua Movement was a timely response to that need in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Located at the base of Boulder’s Flatirons and one of only 25 National Historic Landmarks in the state of Colorado, the Colorado Chautauqua is one of only a few remaining chautauquas in the U.S. It is considered THE western representation of the cultural movement that swept the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is the only site west of the Mississippi that has been in continuous operation since its founding and with its original structures intact and used for their original purposes. It was a pretty impressive area to see.
We also visited the Wild Animal Sanctuary just north east of Denver, and east of Boulder. The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the oldest and largest nonprofit Sanctuary in the world dedicated exclusively to rescuing captive exotic and endangered large carnivores, providing them with a wonderful life for as long as they live, and educating about the tragic plight faced by an estimated 30,000 such animals in America today. Below, a couple prides of lions in their 20+ acre area. Here is their website: Wild Animal Sanctuary
Above, the Welcome Center of The Sanctuary, which sits on 720 acres, and is located about 50 miles east of Boulder, near the town of Keenesburg. It shelters more than 450 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Leopards, Mountain Lions, Wolves and other large carnivores, it is the first sanctuary of its kind to create large acreage species-specific habitats for rescued animals. (Since January, 1980, The Wild Animal Sanctuary has responded to more than 1,000 requests from private citizens and government agencies to rescue animals from across the United States and around the world. The residents here, were abused, abandoned, illegally kept, or were victims of other terrible situations.). They recently rescued about 25 lions from Bolivia when the government made the circus’s illegal.
It is amazing to see these beautiful animals, enjoying the life of luxury after having been in such dire circumstances (plaques along the walkway describe how these animals lived, and how they were rescued).
The right side of this sign notes examples of Tiger rescues:
- Two tigers were confiscated from a man that kept them in a horse trailer for nearly 5 years.
- Five tigers were confiscated from a person that used them to breed and illegally sell their cubs as pets.
- One tiger was purchased as a pet when he was only 3 days old, and was subsequently kept in a small cage in his owners back yard for over 7 years.
- Two tigers were kept in a barn for many years by a man that was raising them on his fur farm in order to kill them and sell their skins.
About 1 1/2 years ago, they installed a 1.5 mile walkway above the sanctuary grounds, so you look below to watch the animals. You can leisurely walk to the other end, watching the animals in their own habitat, it was quite amazing.