A new nine-mile trail opened northeast of Colorado Springs this year. During Covid-19 in 2020, we have hiked many familiar trails over and over. A new one is cause for celebration! We arrived at the trailhead by 7:00 am on a weekday and the large parking lot was already half full. There are bathrooms (yeah!) and a well marked trail awaits us on a new adventure.
The first part of the trail is through the woods and is delightfully quiet even if there were many people – somewhere. Runners jogged past us, mountain bikes and their incessant bells warned of their approaching zooming on the single-track trail. Later, we encountered groups of horses as we finished the trail. It still felt relatively isolated – flat, long and beautiful.
When we reached the power lines and North Creek, we knew we had hiked three miles or so. Now it is decision time. Do we turn around now and hike a comfortable six miles? Do we proceed on the trail for nine miles with no ability to change our minds? Did we bring enough water? It is one hour into the hike and we feel great.
The liars appeared.
Two lady hikers: “We have been hiking for two hours, but really slowly. We stopped at the Overlook of the Burn scar and ate our breakfast for half an hour.”
The mountain biker: “It is only 7.5 miles according to my calculations. You can do it.”
The walker: “There is plenty of shade the rest of the way. Well, you have to go through one burn area, but then the rest is shady.”
They have lied about the Lord; they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine. Jeremiah 5:12 NIV
We decided to continue knowing that we might have to carry the dog as the heat increased throughout the morning. The dog gave up at 7 miles. He was hot, tired and exhausted and reclined in the shade of a tree on cool grass. Ed carried him for about twenty minutes in my pack strapped in front, and Taz walked slowly the rest of the way.
The burn scar from the Black Forest Fire of 2013 is extensive and for now, no development will occur, as there are no trees.
We ran out of water when we turned on the final fork in the nine-mile loop. We knew we could make it to the car where we stored more water for the dog and coffee for us.
We will take more water. We know now ourselves, it takes three and half hours, and it really is nine-miles long. And we will leave the dog at home.
Have you ever been deceived on a trail? When did you know you made a mistake and had to hike out?