Libraries… who would have guessed?

As workampers,  we have experienced a renewed appreciation for libraries.  No longer the large quiet rooms filled with books and a few magazines we were introduced to as kids,  they have grown and adapted to changing lifestyles over the past few decades.  We were amazed with the facilities in Northeast and Southwest Harbors on Mount Desert Island in Maine… no stern librarians from the past there.. instead, we were welcomed by friendly staff, and we were encouraged to take full advantage of the programs that they offered during out stay as workampers at Mount Desert Campground.   I continue to receive  weekly emails from the Northeast Harbor Library, and we look forward to frequent visits there when we return to Maine in the spring.

One of the first things that Janet did when we arrived here in the Poudre River Canyon in Colorado was to look up local libraries.   She discovered one in the village of Red Feather Lakes,  a 20 minute drive along a dirt road that zigs and zags and climbs another 1000 feet in elevation ( with very few guardrails) .    Red Feather Lakes is a popular destination during the summer months, but there is not a whole lot to draw folks there at this time of the year..  there is a small general store, a hardware store, a couple of real estate offices,  and a library!

We were welcomed and given the grand tour when we visited last week,  and we met Darlene, a member of the staff who is in charge of the hiking club.. a library sponsored group.. just what we were hoping for.. the opportunity to meet folks in the area who believed that the way to survive winter was to get out and enjoy it!   Yesterday, we joined them for our first hike.  There were 8 of us (plus two dogs)  and  we discovered that we shared lots of similar interests from hiking, to music, to woodworking.. .

blue-sky-dowdy-lake-hikethe sky was blue for the most part, as we began the hike, although there were a few dark clouds to the west..  lake-dowdy-2our original destination was Mt Margaret, but we settled on a  final destination  of  Dowdy lake .. no more blue sky!lake-dowdyit is a bit difficult to tell from this photo, but the rock features,  some of which are in the middle of the lake, are quite interesting..  we were told that this is a great spot for kayaking..

janet-and-me-on-our-first-colorado-hikewe paused at the lake for some photos.. yup, that is my wife, Janet and me..   before tracing our footsteps back .. During the return leg,  we stopped for a break and for a wonderful treat of hot chocolate..  this is not the first outing that Darlene has led!

hot-chocolateshe was well prepared!     the dogs did not know what they were missing…

It is great that we were able to hook up with a group.. unlike the trails in Acadia, there were no blazes on the trees..   I guess that it is fairly easy to follow the trail when there is no snow, but it sure helped that we were with locals at this time of the year!   We look forward to spending time with these folks during our stay in Colorado…

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