Escaping The Nutshell
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Not many cars at the winter parking area. The road up to Brainard is still closed. Started hiking up the road to Lefthand Reservoir which is also still closed.
Lots of snow on the road. We pass a very old couple about a mile up the road. He looks like Ernest Hemingway. They are the only people we see all day.
We get to the quarry and head up. Part of it is flooded from snowmelt. Nice meadow at the top of the ridge. This is limber pine country. Lots of very old specimens. They are cold to the touch, but you can see new growth. On the way up Niwot Mtn, there's an icy wind from the west.
On the summit there's a nice wind shelter. Once out of the wind, it immediately feels warm. We sit in the shelter and listen to the sound of the wind. We watch small clouds form and dissipate. The clouds can get nothing going today.
On the way down, we visit a smaller knob to the east. In a wind shelter we find a brass elephant and two bottles. One is filled with crystals, the other with colorful cloth. They seem to have been used in some kind of ritual.
Once back on the road, we head up to the reservoir for lunch. At the top of the dam, another icy wind. We find a nice sheltered spot at the north end of the dam and have lunch.
Returning along the road, we stop to watch a chickaree resting on a rock. He lets us photograph him.
Total trip time about 5 hours. Distance traveled was 6.5 miles. Altitude difference from lowest (parking at 10,079 ft) to highest (11,504 ft) was about 1,425 ft.
|Place Name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Position (lat,lon)|
|Brainard Lake winter parking area||10079||23||40.08029,-105.53305|
|Niwot Mtn summit||11504||20||40.05880,-105.55263|
© 2012-2014 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos
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