With the spring weather finally as stable as it was going to get, I went for hike in a new place two weeks ago. A coworker recommended Curt Gowdy State Park because they have lots of trails and he loved it there. I’ve learned that this coworker doesn’t give good recommendations, but I figured I could get a decent hike in, and I’d not been to this place before.
Sunny, morning arrival to the park. The visitor’s center has trail maps and the folks on staff will give you suggestions that match your goals for the day. When I went, all the lower, easy trails were flooded due to the heavy winter runoff, but I didn’t mind since I wanted a slightly tougher trail anyhow. Mind you, I’m not an overly fit person – I work a computer all day and a sewing machine for most the night. Chair butt is my figure. But, I can do a moderately challenging trail if I’m alone – when the going gets tough I go slow and take breaks. It might take me longer than others, but I get there all the same.
The park was busy cutting down trees. My trails were littered with cut down trees. I didn’t see evidence of beetle infestation or blight, but I’m hoping they were cutting down all their trees for some reason, especially since they don’t have too many trees there to begin with. Someone built a hovel out of some of these off cuts along the trail. Ugh.
I didn’t take too many pictures on the way up since there weren’t many good views. There were many switchbacks, which made the trail manageable, but halfway through, I realized there would be a much better view on the tougher trail. So, I changed it up for the better view, although my progress went slower.
At the top of this more scenic area, I sorted out how to work my self-timer. I have a remote for my camera, but didn’t have it with me, so this was the first timer use. Worked out well. Check out my dorky hat!
And I took some photos and stitched them together into a panoramic shot. You’ll have to scroll to see both sides, unless you have a very wide monitor.
The hike back down was uneventful and I was glad to get home. I won’t go back to Curt Gowdy for hiking; it is not my kind of place. That branch hovel is one example of why. I don’t go hiking to see the primitive outdoor projects other people have built to fuck with nature – I go to get away from people and see some nature. The whole park was that way – many signs, amenities, those damned stupid rock stacks everywhere, trash, overly marked trails, etc. The whole place was overly cultivated, like I often imagine parks to be before I’ve seen them, and usually after, too. The whole park was full of “trails” which were merely heavily used paths with lots of markings. Picnic tables, campgrounds, RV hookups, fishing spots, marked areas everywhere. There was even a snack shop by one of the lakes. And people! I came in the morning and there were already too many people; there were twice as many as I left.
If you want to park your RV, have a big family picnic, fish with a hundred other people, or maybe be social in an outdoor environment with a lot of well-maintained grass, I recommend this park to you.
If you want to get out into some minimally-altered nature, without many people, and you’re fine sitting on a rock to eat your sandwich, I recommend Vedauwoo to you. That is where I’ll be.