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  • Writer's pictureMandy Garcia

I can't take it any longer!

It isn't as warm outside as I'd like it to be, but that didn't stop me from getting out last weekend. As the title of this post says, I can't take it any longer and need to get out! Thankfully both Colorado and Wyoming offer many open spaces to hike and bike. Don't get me wrong - I love walking in our area, but it's pretty much a straight dirt road for miles. My preference would be to fly to Alaska and hike Thunderbird Falls, Hatcher's Pass, Eagle River Visitors Center, etc., but that's just my homesickness talking. :)

Last weekend I took the short drive from my house to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. I went a little later in the morning thinking the trails would have at least a few people that day given it was sunny and not too chilly, however when I arrived I was the only one there! It was nice as I had the trails to myself, but then again, I had the trails to myself.

Let me explain... I'm a little gun shy in hiking areas where I'm alone on the trail. A few years ago (2011) while Johnny (my husband) was working on a project in Nebraska, I decided to take a drive to Rocky Mountain National Park to take some photos. The day was wonderful! I saw elk, coyote, many different birds and some beautiful scenery until the end of the day trip. Trip being the operative word. I stepped into a divot, tripped and twisted my ankle. When I came to (I never passed out but the ringing in my ears lasted quite a while), my first question was "Where's my camera?!" My second question was "Is my camera OK??" And finally, my third thought was "Man... my ankle hurts."

After driving myself to the ER in Estes Park, I ended up with a very bad sprained ankle. I declined the pain medication until after I returned to Fort Collins as I needed to drive myself home. I counted my lucky stars because it could've been MUCH worse. Here's how the day started and then how it ended:

With this past experience under my belt, I will still go hiking "by myself" but I don't go very far if my vehicle is the only one in the parking lot! I did however go about one mile in to get a little fresh air. I even took a video! The laws for all Fort Collins natural areas state no drones allowed. Hey, I get it. I know they are not the quietest things in the world when they fly lower to the ground. I didn't let that stop me from using the 360-degree camera though. Here's a short video of my hike in Soapstone Prairie Natural Area last Saturday. It also shows a little proof of how large my camera back back is. :)

No, I didn't have the camera out the entire time. I used it for about the first ten minutes and then enjoyed nature. But, bonus! I did take a 360-degree image from the Lindenmeier Site. After you click play, you can click to drag and take look around. You can also zoom in on other areas.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know of some of your favorite areas around Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming so I can check them out.

See you soon!


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