Derek had a fever yesterday and wasn’t feeling well, so he, Jenni and Mom decided to take it easy today. Derek, Jenni, and Eleanor went to the doctor and he got antibiotics and cough pills.
Dad and I went to do the Palmer Trail (section 16) Loop. It’s 5.2 miles with 2,119 ft elevation change (that includes every time you go uphill, not high-low point). We took the trail right first, as there was an uphill part we wanted to do closer to the beginning of the hike. There was a pretty uphill part for a while (about 900ft over little less than a mile). I had to go slower on it than I would in TN, due to the elevation here. However, I didn’t have to stop. Though Dad stayed behind me, he didn’t have to stop either. I saw him a decent amount of times on straightaways or when I turned for a switchback. After the climb I took a picture of the view. We stayed level for a while and eventually went back down.
With only about 1/4 of the trail left, we started getting turned around. The All Trails app map I had showed us not being on the trail. On Dad’s phone it didn’t either. A lot of times the phone’s gps on it would have us on different trails. He ended up using another app to get us out. We’d turn one way, realize we were going wrong way or had already been on that part of trail, then turn around. We ended up taking a dirt road and then paved road back to the parking lot. It added almost an hour to our hike and we walked a little over a mile more due to this confusion. It was because they had part of the former trail blocked off “due to restoration” and didn’t give another route to take.
Once back to the car, we decided to head to Garden of the Gods for more hiking there. Stopped at Visitor Center to get another trail map. We did the Ridge Trail Loop 1/2 mile roundtrip with less than 150ft rise. It gave us the feeling of being among the red rock, and let us view the other side of Sleeping Giant.
On the other side of the street, we hiked some of the mountain biking trails. There actually weren’t that many bikers on it and we saw some other hikers as well. We did the trails on the edge of the park, so right on the border between civilization and park. We saw the visitor center from part of the trail. A Park ranger had told us there were lots of fossils on the rock on this trail and told us a little about geology of how rock in the park was formed. I’m sure he’s right about the fossils, but Dad was only able to spot one and I didn’t see any. It was good just to walk around though. We headed back to the house stopping at drug store and grocery store along the way. We got all our stuff inside the house just before the rain hit.
Derek had made Tuna Casserole while Dad and I were out. We had some after getting back as a late lunch, and it was good. Jenni and Dad looked at her pictures and talked photography. I looked at some of them as well as Garden of the Gods and Colorado picture books in the house. For dinner we had Stouffers frozen lasagna and Kale. Derek did the lasagna, while Dad and I did the Kale and garlic bread.
When it started getting dark, Jenni and Dad set up his tripod on the deck for long exposure pictures of small sunset and night/late dusk pictures. I tried a few pics with it on mine, but for the most part they used it. Derek and I set up the ping pong table. We played 3 games with breaks in between. He beat me all 3 times, but it was very fun getting to play again after all this time. I played one game with Dad and beat him pretty bad. The 3rd game I played with Derek, Jenni was watching with Dad taking pictures. Jenni’s reactions were pretty funny.