Sunday, February 9, 2014

Roxborough State Park: Fountain Valley Trail, Part I

Plans to play hockey up at Evergreen Lake on Saturday fell through. So I made a quick pivot and signed up for a landscape photography walk at Roxborough State Park. One of the great things about this state -- and the area we live in particularly -- is that there's no shortage of recreational options. :)

Roxborough State Park
Even before I got to the visitor center I was drawn by the sight of dormant yuccas against the light snow and blue skies.

Roxborough State Park
The walk was led by the wonderful Derald Hoffman -- 85 years young, and a photographer for longer than I've been alive.  We thought we might be limited to taking pictures from the visitor center patio due to icy trails, which with views like this wouldn't have been the worst thing ever.

Roxborough State Park
Fortunately, the warm day and sunny skies had melted the Fountain Valley Trail nicely.  Derald told the group that the right side of this formation was called the Wicked Witch of the West.

Roxborough State Park
This close-up, rotated view may better explain why.  See the eye, nose, mouth and protruding chin?

Roxborough State Park
The combination of leafless trees and snow often looks deliciously stark to me.

Roxborough State Park
We took a detour up to the Lyons Overlook.  I found the view of the trail through the Gambel oaks interesting.

Roxborough State Park
Of course, the view from the actual overlook wasn't too shabby, either.  We had the amount of snow I love -- enough to add some interest but not so much that features of the landscape are obliterated. 

Roxborough State Park
I figured this formation might also have a name -- like the Middle Finger, or something -- but the naturalist who was with us said she didn't know of one.

Roxborough State Park
The view to the northeast coming back down from the overlook was terrific -- hard to believe that we were as close to suburbia as we were.  Much of the group stayed at the overlook and planned on heading back the way we came.  I'd never taken this trail before, and wanted to do the full loop to see what there was to see.

Click here for Part II.

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