Monday: My second day of hiking in Boulder began earlier, as Batya’s course began at 8:30 a.m. on the second day.
8:43 a.m.: Within minutes of dropping her at Chautauqua, I hiked up the Baseline trail across the meadow.
9:15 a.m.: After about 0.6 miles, I continued onto the Amphitheater trail, and began gaining elevation while passing by interesting rock formations. I spotted a hummingbird hovering on the trail in front of me for a second, but before I could even think about my camera it was gone. I do better with photographing rocks and slow-moving animals.
9:56 a.m.: After another 0.4 miles and a break, I turned onto the Saddle Rock trail. I heard a buzzing in my ear, and when I turned I saw an unidentifiable blur move away from me. I wondered if that was another hummingbird encounter.
While Chautauqua is at about 5700′ of elevation, I was now approaching 7000′, and the scenery was improving.
The trail continued to climb:
10:19 a.m.: A sign posted at the beginning of the Saddle Rock trail had warned hikers that because of damage from the 2013 floods, a ladder had been installed at one point. I know that some people don’t like ladders, though I imagine that the problem is more psychological than physical. When I reached the ladder, I was a bit surprised, because instead of being vertical it was placed at about a 45 degree angle. Furthermore, while the floods had damaged the trail at that point, it seemed that a hiker could have scrambled up the eroded area easily enough even without the ladder.
10:23 a.m.: Around 7000′, I had a nice view of Boulder, comparable to what I had seen and photographed the day before on the 1st/2nd Flatiron trail.
A caterpillar shared the trail with me:
10:43 a.m.: This scramble seemed comparable or worse than the area where the floods had washed out a section of the trail, and yet it was perfectly manageable without the need for a ladder:
11:03 a.m.: After another 0.7 miles, I reached the end of the Saddle Rock trail, which intersected the E.M Greenman trail. I turned left on the Greenman trail.
An old sign reads “E.O. Greenman / Twin Springs.” There was some dampness in the area, though I don’t know that I saw springs. Who was Greenman, and was his name E.M. Greenman (as the maps say) or E.O. Greenman, as this old sign says?
Fireweed grew next to a talus slope:
11:17 a.m.: The trail at times presented a nice vista:
An old trail marker for the Greenman trail:
12:08 p.m.: After 1.1 miles on the Greenman trail, I reached my destination: the peak of Green Mountain at 8144′, around 2400′ higher than my starting point. There was an easy scramble at the peak that provided nice views, and I also found a brass disk that the University of Colorado Hiking Club had placed in May 1929 . It provided a graphical representation of the principal peaks visible from that spot, together with a list of their names and elevations:
After enjoying a leisurely lunch at the peak, I continued down the other side for about 0.1 mile (I believe on the Green Mountain West Ridge trail), before turning right onto the Ranger trail.
I continued to follow the Ranger trail for 1.4 miles.
1:41 p.m.: There were interesting plants to see, such as blanketflower . . .
2:27 p.m.: . . . and cactus:
2:52 p.m. My hike then took me one mile through Gregory Canyon on the trail of that name:
I enjoyed seeing more flowers there.
After Gregory Canyon, I followed sign posts back to the Baseline trail, and made it back to Chautauqua with plenty of time to spare before Batya’s course ended for the day. This hike covered about 8.5 miles, with about a 2400′ elevation gain. It was a fun day.