Pretty successful day today… Have been trying to find out about hours and fees on the Pikes Peak Highway via phone with no luck this spring. Specifically I was wondering if the reduced fee for visiting the reservoirs only was in effect yet. Today I was determined to find out for sure! Best way to find out? Just drive up to the toll gate and ask, I figured!
Okay, for anyone wanting to know for sure, the highway opens at 9:00 a.m and you need to be heading down by 4:30 p.m. The fee to the peak is $15 per person and only $5 per person if you wish to go no further than the Catamounts and Crystal. $5 seemed a small price to pay after having driven all the way down there, so I paid the fee and proceeded on to Crystal with a couple of stops along the way for short hikes and some pictures of a cute looking deer herd.
The reservoir was magnificent today, accentuated by the beautiful blue Colorado sky. Luckily a clear day finally coincided with a free day for me so that I could actually see something besides the fog which has plagued the area for much of the spring. And I was rewarded with a few images worthy of posting to my website. Unfortunately I was extremely disappointed to discover that I had made a focusing error on the best image of all by forgetting to hit the back button focus on the front deer when it appeared on the scene. The camera remained focused on the more distant deer which does not work at all 😦 The two images shown in this post are available exclusively on my personal website at Pixels.com as both print and stock.
Well I managed to cut that one close. Have to get an article out to the Examiner a minimum of every two weeks to maintain my hard earned “newsworthy” status. This turned out to be a rough two weeks another bout of pneumonia to deal with running myself ragged trying to get my patient to all the doctor appointments and pick up all the prescriptions. I tend to need a lot of peace and quiet for any ideas to come into my idea resistant brain, but much to my surprise on the very last day it occurred to me that I might know something about hiking boots.
Crystal Falls on the north slope of Pikes Peak
So I went online and did a search of this year’s new models and as I paged through the results I realized that I was more of an expert than I thought. I perused the high end Lowa, Vasque and Rocky boot sites and then went on to look at the less lofty Merrel and Hi-Tech models. As I did so I realized that I have owned and literally walked the soles off of all except the Lowa brand. Well, actually my Vasque’s have proven impervious to wear at this point, but with any luck I will get the chance to wear those out as well.
So anyway I managed to put together the article and get it published by the deadline and in doing so was able to give myself another walk down memory lane. My first good boots were actually Coleman Dry’s and I wore them out snowshoeing and replaced them with some cheap non-waterproof boots from Walmart. Don’t remember what they were. It was my photo trip to the Rocky Mountain Balloon Festival that I decided I would have to get some good boots. The mass launch was very early in the morning and I determined that a climb to the top of the hill just east of the Chatfield beach would give me a bird’s eye view of the whole thing and by the time I had slogged through the wet grass to the top my feet were cold and soaked. Soon thereafter I purchased my first Gore-Tex lined Rocky’s. Those boots carried my feet to some of my best photo memories and snowshoe adventures in my memory. They took me to the top of Mount Evans and high into the Indian Creek Wilderness to Crater Lakes. I walked countless miles of tracks getting my collection of railway imagery. Finally just after moving into the shadow of Pikes Peak I was walking my dogs one day when I noticed my feet seemed unusually cold. Close inspection revealed that the soles had become separated from the boots. Then came a pair of waterproof Merrel’s which I wore out on the trails of the Pike National Forest near the north face of the big mountain. More of the same removed the soles from a pair of Hi-Tec’s and now I’m working on my most durable pair yet, the Vasque’s. God willing I will wear those out exploring the Lost Creek Wilderness and maybe even the Collegiate Peaks.
And by some stroke of good fortune, my hiking boots article may have landed another story in my lap. Much to my surprise, someone from Vasque must have liked my story and it looks like I am going to get the chance to field test a pair of Vasque’s new Breeze 2.0 model. Be sure to find out all the details on this fantastic looking boot by getting your free subscription to my Examiner news feed in time to receive the report!