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Marshall Mesa Trail
Superbowl Sunday had me out exploring a new trail with a new friend. This time the hike was on an expanse of land just south of Boulder, called the Marshall Mesa. The wide open area is perfect for wiling away a few hours getting to know someone as the inclines are gentle enough that you won’t lose your breath while chatting away; and if you get lost in conversation, the trailhead is nearly always within sight.

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South Fork Shanahan Ridge Trail to Mesa Trail to North Fork Shanahan Ridge Trail
Living in Boulder is all about the trails. Hiking is exercise, recreation, a way to socialize, explore, confront your fears, and take loads and loads of scenic photos. Living at the base of a mountain, I understand now Monet’s repetitive painting of haystacks; like the constantly changing light he attempted to capture with oil paint, I find myself using a camera to explore the ever shifting cloud formations and effects of the sun on an otherwise unchanging subject. A favorite muse is Bear Peak, regularly featured on my Instagram feed. But getting into the mountains or on the mesa trails offer even more subjects to explore via the lens — from wide-open vistas, to layers upon layers of mountains, pine-lined paths, and majestic boulders.

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I’m not big on carbonated beverages. Water and tea (hot or iced) are my thirst quenchers of choice. Recently however, while on vacation in Colorado I found myself on an a spontaneous treasure hunt for sparkling water across the city of Manitou Springs.

Located at the based of Pikes Peak (a 14,115 foot mountain and designated National Historic Landmark), the city’s history is closely tied to natural mineral springs which helped to establish it early on as a spa destination. A quick Google search to learn more about what makes the water here so unique yielded the seeds for an impromptu scavenger hunt to find and sample the water from 10 different publicly accessible spigots that dot the small town. Read the rest of this entry »