24 November 2015

Paradise Open

When Waterton reopened to the public on Friday, October 30, the weather was not in our favor, but we enjoyed an adventure anyway.

We'd had a few nights of overnight frost and two days of drizzle and rain. I took off work early so we could ride up the canyon before nightfall. I expected the canyon to be jam-packed during Saturday's Indian Summer forecast, and I thought we might have the canyon to ourselves on Friday, especially with the weather.

I also wanted to be able to say I went up the canyon the day it reopened.

The Lizard had just cleaned our muddy bikes, following a very messy ride up Boreas Pass the weekend before. He didn't want to clean the bikes again so soon, so we opted to walk as far up the canyon as we could get and still have time to return to our car in daylight.

We didn't have the canyon to ourselves, but there were miles and miles of solitude. Except for a feisty bighorn who seemed to be upset humans were back on his turf. Either that, or he was working out rutting season anxiety. He butted heads with a tree several times before he turned to us and complained about a headache.

We walked a total of 7.5 miles and enjoyed every step. Every time we walk up the canyon, we see things we miss when on our bikes. This adventure's surprise was a pair of wasp nests right above the dirt road. We'd ridden right beneath them so many times, but we'd never seen them until now.

Wasps nesting so high off the ground typically are beneficial because they aren't aggressive, they eat garden pests, and they pollinate.

Fall colors were outstanding.

Unbelievably, a few blossoms still dotted the landscape.

We returned to the canyon Sunday afternoon after church on our bikes, assuming the crowds would be lighter because the undefeated Broncos were playing the undefeated Packers in Denver. Alas, the perfect weather brought the masses out again en force to enjoy the autumn treasure that had been withheld for two full months. We're all Waterton junkies, and we're thoroughly addicted.

I don't typically like to take pictures of wildlife when they are surrounded by humans, but this display was so humorous in so many ways, I thought my readers might enjoy it. It's not a sight you get to see every day!


  1. No wonder you are all addicted as it looks like quite the great spot. Sharing with the masses isn't always fun though lol

  2. Cool video! Nice pics! I never get tired of watching those guys!

  3. Hilarious video - for some reason it reminded me of the two-man sprint event in track racing, where cyclists nearly come to a halt and v .. e .. r .. y slowly ride along eyeing each other, until somebody breaks into a sprint.

    So glad you're a Waterton junkie who shares the beauty with us! Did you ever figure out what the wispy white stuff is?

    1. Thanks, Sue! No, still don't know the true identity of the white stuff.


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