Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lookout Mountain, Golden CO

Today was a first daytrip to hike and bird one of the many beautiful locales outside of the Golden city limits:  Lookout Mountain.  I could research and share the elevation of today’s destination, but mountain-loving folk would not be impressed.  I could look up the distance of the winding roads to reach the Lookout Mountain Nature Center (19th street, Lariat Road and Lookout Mountain Road).  I could go into great detail about the number of switchbacks, the drop-offs on the edge of the road, and the percent grade of the "turn around" steep switchbacks, but mountain-loving folk would probably still not be impressed.  But for this Gulf Coastie, I spent a lot of time NOT "looking out" as I carefully navigated the blacktop roads to the top of Lookout Mountain.  I mostly stared at the yellow stripe in the middle of the two-way road and kept telling myself how much I would have enjoyed walking the winding ascent.
And so even though most of us have politely said “nice pictures” when friends or relatives share vacation “landscapes” that leave the Grand Canyon looking flat, or make a mountain peak look small, I still choose to proudly share these two photos.  These two photos are this Gulf Coastie's bragging rights, not for my landscape photography skills, but to share that I DROVE the trusty Suburban to these two points:

And I’d be “w”reckless to not mention the lovely grounds and trails of the Lookout Mountain Nature Center.  The Forest Trail, less than a mile in length, shared all three of the western nuthatches:  the Read-breasted, the White-breasted and the Pygmy.  They are wonderfully fun to watch.

But I’ll remember Lookout Mountain for sharing two flycatchers that have eluded me on former trips:  the Olive-sided and the Dusky.  I got long looks at both; the Olive-sided in an area of mature Ponderosa Pines, and the Dusky in an area more open, with bushes and small trees spread between larger trees.
But in celebration of Debbie B.’s birthday, I only post pictures of scenery.  Happy birthday, Deb—you would have gotten a good laugh at watching the rick-man and me during today’s great ascent!  J

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