STEVENS TRAIL 19X December 16, 2007

Figuring that since storms were predicted for most of the coming week, I resolved to do a local hike. Tired of Cold Canyon, I was looking at my notes and decided to hike the classic Stevens Trail, out of Colfax. It'd be good to see what was new along Interstate 80, too.

Leaving home in mid-morning, I again noted the six lanes about the I-80/Bus 80 junction and past. Great not to have continual gridlock, as some have wished for all of us, unfortunately. Needing no stops, I came to the BLM trailhead and started my hike by 10:51 a.m. Only one truck was parked, and I had some usual fears about mountain lions. I was dressed in five layers, and no cat would be able to bite through all that I had on, including two neck gaiters.

The beginning of the trail was wet, but not really muddy red dirt. The side streams were dry or a trickle, and I sauntered down to follow the signs, turning right on the dirt road. As I hiked down the trail, two dogs caught up with me. The attached hiker sought to get a slight workout, and turned back after the nice view (right photo) down to the North Fork. I kept going, as another hiker was headed out.

The light was diffuse, and I had a good time shooting many angles and compositions. I was out here alone. Plenty of toyon berries, and green grasses, then the low flowing river, made some photo subjects. Two guys soon passed me going down, and they looked pretty chilly, with T-shirts, and shorts, for one of them. They later donned more clothing, and I passed them as they enjoyed my favorite spot. Solitude for all, by me!

Coming to the end of the trail, at Secret Creek, I snapped more photos. Some puddles in the rocks had frozen, and some frost on the rocks made for some close-ups. A camper had left his tent and sleeping bag, all weathered gear, along with someone's tennies, too. Too dirty for me to pack out.

Giving the other hikers some time, I couldn't wait, and went back to the side trail down to the river, and enjoyed the light. I snapped a couple panoramas. This was a marvelous moment, and I had my two cans of cold diet soda, as I sat. Two more hikers came along, and I snapped their pictures together, for them. I had plenty of time to think and see, for some great photography.

Then, it was time to head back, about 2 p.m. I saw the clouds were forming, and some of them were actually dark. I had no expectation of rain, but I hurried along. A few more hikers were headed down, and then it was a short way to the cars. I drank up my water, confident that I'd beat any rain, then finished the hike with a total round trip time of 4:53.

Going into Colfax, I got drink and food, and a few people were stopping from their travels along this great highway. There was a fair sunset as I motored home, and I declined any more stops.

The hike is about 9 miles with 1,000' gain, round trip. I shot over 400 images and movie clips. Driving only 100 miles, I used maybe 3 gallons of gas. Spending about 6 dollars at the fast food restaurant, I did well this day.

This was a great relief from the incessant delays, much of last week, getting an upgrade on my connection speeds, and some new webspace. Tech support were not to blame, as it was the luck of the draw. I had figured on a new computer, too, but I'll be fine as long as no new, bigtime, hardware requirements force me to spend. Usually the computer company allows for poorer people who decline software upgrades, although I am so game for the latest stuff. My thing is not to buy prematurely, again, as I did, apparently, with my present computer. Four months after I purchased it, there was a $200 price break, and an upgrade in capability.