Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Colorado Provencial

After walking around all day yesterday (and not getting home till late in the evening) we decided to take the morning off and head on a hike in the afternoon. We decided to go to Colorado—well, the Colorado Provencial : ) Made up of more ochre cliffs (like Rousillon) this area is full of hiking trails and neat views.

Doesn't this look like it needs a dinosaur?
These lovely flowers were everywhere

The Sahara

Mom, Dad, and me siting in colorful dirt : )

Someone made this neat sand drawing

Wanting to stay for evening light, we arrived at the parking lot below the town of Rustrel a little after 3 o’clock. There were a lot of people there! We are into the off-season, and most places we have gone have been pretty empty of tourists, especially the hiking trails, so it was a little surprising. We received a map when we parked, with three trails listed (and clearly marked as we walked), which was nice as there are a ton of paths going off in all directions. We started off on trail #2, a two hour loop with a couple of view points of the Cheminees des Fees (or Fairy Chimneys), before descending into “le Sahara” (yep, we did America and Africa while in Europe). This was the most picturesque area, with hills of lovely blended ochre hues going from dark red to pale yellow. Mom, Dad, and I decided to sit down while we waited for Alan and rose with the seats of our pants displaying the color dirt we had sat in!

We made our way back to the start of the trail head, passing a few hundred year old aqueduct that barely rated a laminated paper sign—odd there is so much to see that many smaller things get lost to time and the woods! We walked up to another viewpoint on trail #1 and ate our picnic dinner overlooking another ochre valley with the colors set off by the green of the trees.

Our dinnertime view
After dinner, Alan decided that he didn’t want to walk back the way we had come. But we only had about an hour of light left, so Mom and Dad set off back the way we had come carring Alan’s big camera bag, while Alan and I took of at a jog to complete the rest of the loop trail as quickly as we could. We were glad we did, as we got to see the White Desert (made me feel like we were at the beach!) as well as some of the old mining cart tracks. And we made it back to the car only 15 minutes after my parents!

Alan is working on a project on walking in the woods
similar to his ocean project

The White Desert
Mining hole and old tracks

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