Monday, March 30, 2015

Go Take a Hike!

hiking alongside Plum Creek under Wilcox Street
This past Sunday afternoon was so warm and pleasant that it would have been a shame to stay indoors.

Beloved and me (does this picture make us look fat?)
After church we changed into our hiking clothes and set out for a long walk. The sunshine was bright with hardly a cloud in the sky.

a pond in Plum Creek beside Interstate 25
Just steps beyond a major north-south Interstate is home for all sorts of wildlife.

Plum Creek
Plum Creek runs north and south through our town of Castle Rock with hills and mountains on both sides. The freeway follows alongside it, as well as busy railroad tracks. 

Plum Creek with Castle Rock  (the actual Rock) high on the right
The creek doesn't get very deep and Beloved didn't see any fish at all. Spring has barely begun to make itself evident even though all the snow is gone (for the time being, anyway -- more is forecasted for later this week).

informative signs along the trail
We did not see much in the way of wildlife on this walk, but we did see evidence of their activity. Helpful signs like this one along the way gave us a better understanding of what to watch for.

one of the several beaver dams we saw
The beavers have been busy making dams along Plum Creek, even with a freeway exit ramp nearby.

taking a closer look with the zoom lens
As we stood gazing at this particular beaver dam, Beloved spied something very special. Can you see it?

what is that in the pink circle?
A mother goose has made a nest on top of the beaver dam and is sitting on her eggs.

a male goose
We have a lot of Canadian geese. This is a male goose standing in the water, not far from the mother goose on her nest.

8-foot wide paved path
We are very blessed to have many paved 8-foot-wide paths all through Castle Rock. As pedestrians, we learn quickly to keep to the right because often a bicyclist will come up behind us and call out, "On your left!" That means to stay to the right so the biker can pass. There is plenty of room for everyone if the rules are obeyed.

the moon on a cloudless day
We could see the moon in the sky at about 2pm when this picture was taken.

view through pedestrian tunnel of Rattlesnake Butte

Castle Rock's first high school is located near the rail road tracks so pedestrian tunnels have been made for students to get safely from home to school.

artwork at the entrance to one of the tunnels
Instead of out-of-control graffiti, these tunnel walls have good artwork, murals, and even pithy quotes.

entrance to one of the tunnels

recording history

good words to ponder while walking to school
This quote is deep inside one of the pedestrian tunnels.

and something else to consider
We were impressed that the town of Castle Rock has been successful in maintaining the cleanliness of these unguarded walls.

Castle Rock from the parking lot of nearby apartments
Beloved and I are continually intrigued that the Rock can look small, much like the cork of a bottle, from some perspectives, and in  other places it is quite long, looking sort of like a shoe.

You can see the star and American flag on the top. The star is there year around and lit up for the Christmas season (from Thanksgiving weekend through the end of the annual Denver Stock Show in January).

By the time we got to this place, we had been hiking over 3 miles. There are two trails a person can take to get to the rock, but we did not have the energy to climb that this time. Denise and I hiked it in the summer of 2013 and it was wonderful.

entering Historic Castle Rock -- see the snow-covered Pikes Peak on the horizon on the right
We walked past Castle Rock (the rock) and at this point, we were walking over a bridge that's above the rail road tracks. Historic Castle Rock was before us (and our car!).

our downtown fire station
It's thrilling any time we see a shining red fire engine roll out of these doors

About 2 blocks from where this picture was taken, our car waited for us. Beloved figured out that we had hiked 3.8 miles on concrete all the way. It was a beautiful walk in fabulous weather  (the mid 60s) and we were ready to go home to take a nap!


  1. What a wonderful walk you had!! How great is it to be able to hike along such interesting landmarks! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for taking me on your walk...Castle Rock is a fictitious town created by Stephen King (in Maine). I was happy to know there actually is a Castle Rock. That was quite a hike, I hope it was mostly on flat ground.
    Mama Bear