Another 39 miles and sections 8 & 9 are complete, bringing my total miles of "hiking for Nature Education" to 156. Alex Martinez hiked all 39 miles with me this past Saturday and Sunday, and those miles were a treat to our senses, even if we moved through them at a pretty good clip. The scenery was gorgeous, the wildflowers were in great form, and the weather was very cooperative.
Section 8 included hiking over Searle and Kokomo Passes and ended at Tennessee Pass. The trail climbing was generally moderate in this section, and several miles were above treeline, so the scenery was spectacular. Section 9 spent much time in the trees, but once the trail broke out into the open, the distant views were just as spectacular. Much of Section 9 was in the Holy Cross Wilderness. The area around mile 8 of this section, with a few small lakes, open grassy meadows, and plenty of wildflowers, was exceptionally lovely...I could see myself backpacking into this area and spending a few days exploring, and just being, in such a beautiful place. The last couple of miles dropped steeply into the Turquoise Lake area and the terminus of the section. A gentle rain cooled us just as we began the steep descent.
Alex is an avid hiker, bicyclist, and runner, so there certainly was an element of "clicking off the miles" as we enjoyed the scenery. Alex is a Justice on the Colorado Supreme Court, and so I also enjoyed getting a bit more of a glimpse of the job of a Supreme Court Justice through some of our many conversations. It certainly was a great weekend of hiking! Alex took a bunch of terrific photos. Here is a link to Alex's photos.