For our next adventure, Meghan took me up Gold Camp Road to some of the trails leading up Captain Jacks and the surrounding area. I was very impressed with her familiarity of the area. She knew several unmarked trails and how they interconnected without needing to consult a map. Some of them were even covered in snow without any prior tracks to show us the way!
As an experienced hiker, Meghan planned ahead and brought a spare pair of gaiters for me to borrow. If you aren’t familiar (I wasn’t), gaiters are like ‘skirts for you ankles,’ as Meghan says. After gaining some experience with them, I found that to be a pretty accurate description! Gaiters are generally intended for use in deeper levels of snow to help keep your ankles and shoes drier. Without them, snow falls into your shoe and your feet get cold and soaked within the first half mile. Not really a pleasant experience for longer hikes.
Once in the parking lot, we followed some bike trails up and around the back side of Captain Jacks. From the bottom of the mountain, snow wasn’t really visible, so the gaiters didn’t seem necessary. However, when we got closer to the top and on the backside of the mountain, the snow was pretty deep! I was very grateful Meghan brought me some ‘ankle skirts’!
Just like last time, both her two dogs and my dog Jackson came along. It was so funny to watch how much her dogs loved the snow! They regularly ran ahead and rolled in it until we caught up with them. Jackson also enjoys snow and seems to be a little more energetic in cooler weather. He gets along well with Meghan’s dogs Charlie and Luka and in theory, all of the four-legged boys together warn bears and mountain lions of our presence. I’ve never had an issue with that type of wildlife before, but one can never be too sure!
Eventually, we ended up at the top of May’s Peak, still one of my favorite views in North Cheyenne Cañon. Of course the trail we took up there followed the other side of the mountain than what I completed several weeks prior. It was cool to get a totally different perspective of the same mountain. As always, the view at the top didn’t disappoint, although it was a bit less windy than the last time I was there.
I didn’t pack my tripod, so we had to settle for a pile of rocks as a camera stand. I used my phone as the remote! Isn’t technology amazing? We managed to get all of the dogs in the photo, but didn’t master getting them all to look at the camera. Behind me on the left you can see the city and on the right you can see a piece of Cheyenne Mountain. Quite a cool perspective!
We were on a bit of a time crunch, so we hustled back down the mountain. The trail was almost straight down, or so it seemed, and we made record time. We used the extra time down at the bottom to casually stroll back along the flat dirt road to the car. Along the way, we just so happened to go under a tunnel through the mountain, which was pretty cool! Obviously, I insisted we stop and take a photo… or two.
Several weeks after we did this hike, a big snowfall came through Colorado Springs. Meghan sent me a photo of this very tunnel that someone had captured with the heavy snowfall. It was an amazing shot from inside the tunnel looking out with the beautiful white powdery snowfall covering everything. Looking at that photo reminded me of this adventure. Although sometimes steep, it was so quiet and peaceful; we didn’t encounter another person at all!
As always, it was an awesome adventure and I am so thankful for Meghan’s company along the trails. I also almost always pick up a tip or two from her along the way, whether about hiking, Colorado must-dos, or even practicing medicine. It’s never a dull moment and I certainly hoped that these type of hikes with her would become a regular event!
April 14, 2021