Winter Hiking: A Dip Into Serenity

Resevoir Straton Open Space

Rocky Mountain Splash

A February 2008 view of the Stratton Open Space resevoir from the Ponderosa trail. The resevoir is at the bottom of Cheyenne Mountain near the Will Rogers Sun Shrine. From a distance it looks as though the reservoir has a swirling funnel; opining up and swallowing the water. As we arrive closer we see the water is frozen. I love the contrast from the winter terrain, the pines against the water and the tawny horizon, as blue upon blue defines the sky. Our relationship to the planet seems so serene in this time and space.

000_0415.jpgDabbling Ducks

The three tiny dots on the water are ducks; I’m outside a chained and locked gate. A chain link fence surrounds the reservoir, keeping people and animals out; the frozen lake is dangerous to unsuspecting large animals who might wander onto the ice.

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No Humans Allowed!

In the summer, rangers open the gate, allowing people and animals to enter. Canines are permitted to swim in the summer and early fall months.

At one time the reservoir was closed to everyone; however, people kept cutting through the fence. Finally after a few town meetings and months of debating, a decision was made to open the reservoir during the summer and early fall months to everyone. However, humans would not be allowed to enter the water; just the animals…no matter how tempting the water is on a hot day, just the dogs get to swim.

Last summer a golden retriever searches for unknown treasure; leaving me panting on the bank!

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