In the middle of Denver’s bajillion-day-in-a-row random rain marathon, there happened to be one beautiful Sunday of sunshine. I leapt out of bed and shouted via text message at my friend B-ry, “Do you SEE, it’s GLORIOUS! Let’s go hiking!” He had been telling me about Mt. Falcon, a little ways outside of Conifer, for a while now and I was anxious about getting some exercise outside and some sun on my pasty cheeks. As much as I love the rain (that really wasn’t sarcastic) too much of it does tend to bum me out, especially when I’ve been hearing from my family on the east coast for weeks about how fabulous the damn beach is right now.
I filled my trusty Nalgene with water, laced up my green low-top Chuck Ts, B-ry swung by and picked me up and we were off, windows down and a little “Carolina on my Mind” blaring from the speakers. We talked about mind-boggling things on the way up there, like what we thought the universe was before it was a universe, etc. as we wound up the increasingly twisty road and the sky started to darken overhead. It was a little chilly for me when we got to the park entrance (I’m a wuss when it comes to cold) and it was rather cloudy by now. We started off along the trail, passing couples walking their dogs or their children or riding mountain bikes and ended up at a little pavilion that used to be a summer house in the early 1900s. I petted some little dogs that were hangin’ out there and then looked out over the railing of the house that had been there almost a century.
We continued on our hike past more mountain bikers and B-ry told me about the places he had gone biking. Absolutely nothing is making me not want to try it, so the second I get myself a bike, I’m hittin’ the trails. The trail that we walked along was a fairly leisurely one and we were surrounded by fields of long grass. We got to the ruins of the house of John Brisben Walker right as the sun was starting to peek out of the clouds and I just ran around like a child, climbing on the fence and standing on my tippy toes trying to see around door frames and over windowsills. We saw a hawk on top of a stack of fireplaces, and little Denver was spread out way in the distance.
Our trail continued to wrap around the mountain and it eventually brought us to a rocky ledge looking over a valley where all you could see were trees and the sun shining through a bit of haze and green velvet covering the hills. It was so quiet and perfect and I certainly didn’t want to leave, but we pushed on. Next we arrived at another project of Mr. Walker’s, which was a summer home for the President. Apparently, due to lack of funding, the only parts of the house that ever happened were the foundation and the cornerstone. Now it looks like a pile of rubble and one really white rock. Around the corner was what B-ry told me was his favorite spot. We crawled out to another ledge and Red Rocks Amphitheater, Mr. Walker’s dream come true, was laid out to the left. The sun was setting on it and I got real excited about all the summer concerts that will be happening there.
The hike back to the car was a contentedly silent one, filled with thoughts of eating our body weight in Rio Grande and drinking margs in less than an hour. Our hair was disheveled and our cheeks were flushed and the ride back down the mountain was a quiet and relaxing one, save for an extremely exciting five minute period where we saw, no joke, two reindeer. Fuzzy antlers and everything.