Distance was snowshoe with family and late night hike up Horse Gulch to Meadow trail to exorcise
demon from Muesli when I got back from skiing on Sunday.
So the original plan was to go to Durango for a few days. Get in some snowshoeing with my wife and the dog. Also, she was going to take a lesson while I did a little Catskiing
. Didn't quite happen. My wife started getting sick a couple days before the trip, but decided to go. Catskiing got cancelled both Saturday and Sunday for lack of enough people. Nevertheless it was a great time!
We stayed at a place called Bucking Mule which was an apt. in the back of a residence. (Highly Recommend) Complete with Japanese Soaking tub
. Also happened to be less than 3 blocks from Horse Gulch trail system
. Horse Gulch surprisingly is not on HAZ list of hikes for Colorado. Everyone in Durango knows about this place and it is pretty extensive with access to Fort Lewis College and crosses the highway to the Animas River Trail. Most of the information I found was on Mtn. Bike websites and Trails 2000.org which has an interactive map if you zoom into Durango. The trails were developed through and agreement with a private landowner. Mtn. Bikes, horses, hikers, snowshoers, and cross country skiers utilize the trails. It is an offleash dog area which I know would be distasteful to some, but Muesli enjoyed it and we met several groups of dogs and owners and had no troubles.
We went up Horse Gulch to the Meadow Trail, parts of the Anasazi descent and part of the Cuchillo trail. It was very cold and I found a flaw with my Garmin Oregon in that despite having full bars when we left the cold killed my batteries. Guess I should have put it inside my jacket. I had spares, but found it pointless unless weather came in and the trails were pretty well marked. I was very surprised my wife was eager to go snowshoeing when we got up because she was so sick, but after tea, breakfast, and cold medicine she was ready to go. She did great for the first time and really enjoyed it. Of course she had to sleep 3 hours afterwards and take more cold medicine to make it to dinner. She ended up staying in watching movies with a fever while I went snowboarding Sunday. I think we will be doing some more snowshoeing this winter.
Muesli is in shear heaven in the cold and snow. I'm pretty sure he put in at least 3x the miles we did.
Here is the proof.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjeNo1Efi3Uhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HsP38oQn28
Enjoyed a day of snowboarding at Purgatory and now can say that I have snowboarded in Heaven(ly) and Hell (Purgatory).
Really wanted to get in the Cat skiing, but maybe next time. Got home went to dinner and Muesli was so wound up from being in all day that we went on a late night hike up Horse Gulch which was kind of eerie. The first 1/2-1 mile is a narrow canyon that opens up. It was snowing but the clouds and snow reflected the city lights and we did most of the hike without the use of my headlamp. On a sad note looked up Horse Gulch to get some information and there was an article the Telegraph (local Durango newspaper) about the possible commercial development of the area. The trails may remain, but the Meadow trail may be a golf course in a couple years if those fighting it are unsuccessful or part of the property it is on is sold.
According to the article. The college owns a large portion of the land. Most of the trails are on private land and some of the property is up for sale for 35 million.
I definitely would like to get back up there when my wife is feeling better to check out the Telegraph and sidewinder trails and some of the other ridge trails to the Animas. Guess I better not wait too long.