I hope you don't mind that I'm writing again today; I thought Denise needed a longer writing break!
Today was a day for staying close to our home away from home, a wander without driving too far. Our play spots for the day were Red Rock Canyon and Spring Mountain Ranch, a state park that is just a few miles down the road from the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop road. Spring Mountain Ranch has a separate entrance fee since it's part of the state park system but it turns out that the park is located inside of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. I think that's interesting, don't you?
We started in Red Rock Canyon with some morning walks and a loop around the Scenic Drive. Our first walking stop was the Calico Tanks trail. That's the trail that we started on Friday but turned back when it started raining. Our turnaround point was a bit further down the trail but not quite to the end. We turned around at a point where there are lots of tumbled down rocks since Denise tends not to climb over anything that she thinks might cause difficulty on the way back. The light was very different today, sunshine and blue skies instead of Friday's gray and rain.
Before we finished the loop road (the first time!) we stopped to hike a trail starting at Willow Springs. It started up an unmaintained dirt road and then moved to a loose rock-covered wide trail. We walked and walked, heading uphill a bit, then reversed direction to return to the start.
Next stop, Spring Mountain Ranch... there's a lake in the park that sometimes has interesting reflections in it - and Denise always likes reflections! I knew we had to stop at Lake Harriet sometime during this trip. It didn't disappoint; the water very picked up the color of the sky and there were trees reflecting in the water too.
We headed back into Red Rock Canyon to do some more walking. We drove partway around the loop road, leaving the car in the Sandstone Quarry parking lot. Part of our time was spent walking, part was spent watching people climbing up the very red rocks. Did you know that Red Rock Canyon is one of the top climbing destinations in the country? There were people climbing straight up the rock faces, wow!
I'm glad we didn't drive too far today because tomorrow is going to be a very long traveling day. We'll be driving to our hiking spot for the day, wandering, driving back, and then flying home overnight. Hmm... with a flight time of 11:55 PM we have more than a full day to play here. Maybe Denise will be so tired she will be able to sleep on the plane.
looking across Red Rock Canyon
reflections in Lake Harriet, at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park