(Geez, two days in a row I forgot the camera! Thankfully this is a great shot I found!!)
This is Devil's Head (Fire) Tower! Dan is my witness that I climbed all the way to the top! Yes, that is all the way, including 143 steps that lead from the bottom of these rocks up to the tower!!
What an awesome day we had for a hike! The temperatures were already in the low 70's when we drove about 45 minutes west of home along winding roads to reach the road that leads to the Devil's Head campground. At this time of year, the last 1/2 mile to the campground and trail are closed to cars, so you have to hike it in! No big deal - at least the road surface was smooth! There were still several patches of snow with the first one at the very beginning of the trail! I strapped on my trekking poles and away we went!! I am surprised at how much the uphill trek kicked my butt! I was pretty winded from the beginning but I kept on going! I was also sweating like crazy! The black brace and black wristbands of the trekking poles didn't help with the hot Colorado sun! We only stopped a few short times before we reached the Fire Tower cabin just below the stairs. This is where I stopped to fuel up on water and snacks!
The fire tower is the last manned tower in the state and has someone living on premises from May-October. From this tower is where they spotted the Haymen Fire that destroyed over 138,000 acres on Colorado's Front Range. This was the biggest fire ever in the state and started just a few weeks after we took possession of our house here in Castle Rock 6 years ago. At one point it was headed straight for us, but thankfully for us (and Denver in general), it turned around and went the other way.
Once rested, I started up the stairs to the top where the building stands. Up wasn't bad at all - 143 steps gets you there! The views at the top were awesome today! We could very clearly see Pike's Peak, about 30 miles to the South still covered with lots of snow. Then off to the North West was Mt. Evans and Mt. Bierstadt! All around us were more hills, rocks and lots of trees! Too bad there were pesky bugs too! So down we went... 143 stairs! The down was a bit harder on my knee, but I took it like a brave heart and used both legs all the way!! Then down the trail to the bottom! Again, tougher than up, but not unbearable. I just took my time, put one foot in front of the other and made it safely!!! What an awesome feeling to conquer 4 more miles!!
As expected, I crashed when I got home! It is exhausting and all that fresh air!!! But I had a great nap and now I feel like I can conquer the world! OK, maybe just Arches and Canyonlands in Utah now, but that's all I'm interested in right now! I promise, I will remember the camera for that trip!!!