Adventure in Castlewood Canyon

Colorado, it’s so weird and wonderful.

At the park down the street from me, at the foot of the foothills, grass grows green and trees bloom pink.

The parks system does water the grass, but snow melt and spring rain has turned all the lawns and medians in my area this color, too. For now. They’ll all turn brown by late summer.

But the Denver area also sits at the edge of the High Plains, so the landscape changes pretty much all the time.

While we usually drive west into the foothills and mountains to hike, for Mother’s Day this year we headed away from the Rockies to an area of rolling grasslands that features Castlewood Canyon. Here’s the view from the top:

And from the bottom:

It’s a different world in there.

Here’s an agate, stuck in the middle of a boulder along the trail. Or at least, that’s what I heard another woman tell her son. I know nothing of such things.

Several hours of hot, dusty exploring later we headed home, where the air was cool enough that we had to swap our shorts for jeans. Seriously.

Colorado weather changes all the time, especially as you head closer to the foothills. Life’s never boring here, that’s for sure.

This post brought to you by my Mother’s Day present – I’m going shopping for a new camera this week! Better blog photos, therefore, to follow in the near future.

9 responses to “Adventure in Castlewood Canyon”

  1. MC says:

    Oh, nice pictures! Are they with the new camera? I love Colorado, though I’ve only been to Denver(twice), and the rocky mountains(once)… I’m not sure though if I like the flexibility of the weather. One morning it was cool, by afternoon warm (only needed a t-shirt and jeans), and the next day it was snowing, but I didn’t mind both the warm and the snow. I’d love to go back again some day… and for more than just the world sport stacking championships, or skiing.

  2. Sarah says:

    That sounds fun!

    And your weather sounds like weather in the Canadian Maritimes. We have a saying here: “Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes.” In summer, we often see forecasts along the line of, “Sunny with cloudy periods, and a chance of showers, thundershowers, or hail. High 35, low 12.”

  3. Sara C. says:

    we have that saying in New England too…Right now…it’s barely 45…last week…upper 80’s….we’re under frost warnings….SO strange.

    Amy,….I’d even hike in the cold if I could get those views!

  4. Amy says:

    MC–I love the changes, but I used to live in Florida, where it was hot or….hotter. This is much better!

    Sarah–The weather forecasters here should just say, “Um, you know. Expect everything, whatever. We’ll see.” 🙂

    Sara–Right now I’m wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and sandals. Tomorrow night’s supposed to drop a foot or so of snow! You know, when Kyra would exert herself on the hottest, most humid days in FL (like in August), she’d flare. Here, the cold barely seems to bother her–I hope that doesn’t change.

  5. Sara C. says:

    we don’t do well with hot and humid (one of the reasons I got the Trek…we’re doing Disney in August) and we don’t do well with bitter cold. (M’s lungs and mine react similarly to weather conditions)

    Is winter pretty dry in Colorado? It’s not really “humid” in New England in the winter, but it’s not like SUPER dry air either…I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

    It’s just SO bizarre how DIFFERENT asthma is for different people.

  6. Amy says:

    Sara–Denver is very dry year-round. People don’t realize how dry it is because we get so much snow, I guess, but our climate is considered high desert. Our humidity stays really low all the time–it makes for some weird snow. Making snowmen is way more of a challenge for the girls than it was for me as a kid in Virginia, because the snow doesn’t pack easily here.

    Sarah–Did you grow up in Canada? Seems like the weather that’s most prevalent bothers asthmatics, while going to a different climate shocks the system into submission or something. I’m thinking of Kerri’s recent trip to Florida, where her airways worked great. Plus my own kid, who spent her whole life in heat and high humidity (near 100% all summer long), which sometimes bothered her, but this new climate of dry cold doesn’t trigger her nearly as much as I thought it might. Of course, that could mean in 10 years of Colorado living, her lungs start loving humidity and hating this weather–but I’m getting ahead of myself!

  7. Sarah says:

    I grew up all over the place, actually… Dad was in the military, so I’ve lived in Halifax, Germany (a small town near CFB Lar), Ontario, Manitoba, Calgary, rural Nova Scotia, and I currently live in New Brunswick. I went to seven different schools by the time I turned eight (around which time, Dad retired from the military, and settled down in rural NS – but we moved once after that, too).

    The areas in Canada that I grew up in couldn’t have been more different, as far as temperate climates go: a coastal city, a dirty industrial city in Southern Ontario, an area of the Praries near the manitoba Desert (CFB Shiloh), a city in the foothills of the Rockies and a rural, forested, coastal area, and finally a small city along the St. John River… My asthma is pretty much the same no matter where I go since weather doesn’t trigger me that much – dust and pollen are worse, and I seem to be allergic some kind of pollen no matter wherever I am.

  8. Sara C. says:

    I think the low humidity where y’all are is why you have such great skiing. It’s “dry snow” which OUR mountains get very little of.

    Next winter, you can come visit us, after we get a heart attack snow fall, and the girls can all make snow people. (heart attack snow, because the very wet, packable snow is also very heavy…and the increase in heart attacks in the ER due to trying to shovel the snow is freaky-we get shovel warnings on the news when it’s going to be particularly heavy, wet snow)

  9. Sarah says:

    I do okay with heat as long as the air quality is okay and the humidity is below about 85%. Cold is really hard on me. Dry cold is worst, but wet cold is bad too. Humidity below about 20% in the summer will get me going too. Go figure.