We were headed into Fort Collins where we thought we might do a long walk, but we were prepared for anything, and along the way, we found that the lower elevations of the Poudre Canyon were no longer snow covered… spontaneity is a great thing! We decided to delay our arrival in Fort Collins and tackle the Hewlett Gulch trail!
it is a popular trail, although there was just one other car in the parking lot when we arrived. along the trail there are ruins from cabins where families lived many years ago…
the trail follows a creek through the valley.. lots of crossings.. some easier than others! At one point, we decided to turn around, not quite feeling confident about a stream crossing that faced us, but only a minute or so after heading back, we happened across a young couple who had done the trail before, and they offered to show us the way.. we enjoyed their company for the next 20 minutes or so as we took their lead across the stream and continued on a bit. Natalie and Simon are students at Colorado State College and have a fair amount of experience hiking in the Poudre Canyon. It just so happened that I mentioned a book that I just finished about a couple who spent 6 years living on a Shanty Boat along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in the 1940’s… Natalie is interested in the book, so we traded information so that I could pass the book on to her next time we travel to Fort Collins..
We decided to head back to the trailhead before reaching the end of the hike so we wished Natalie and Simon luck and turned back.. as we retraced our steps, we ran into Caroline from Fort Collins who was hiking with her very well-behaved dog.. we stopped and conversed a bit, always eager to pick up tips from local hikers..
we talked about appropriate dress for this time of year.. Caroline informed us that her husband ran a used outdoor gear shop in Fort Collins.. we later visited the store.. quite a neat collection of stuff!
After saying good bye to Caroline, we made our way back to the trailhead.. enjoyed a snack in the car and headed into town … the highlight was finding some items at the Gearage and at some other thrift stores in town.. and then, of course, spending time at Mugs Cafe where we enjoyed a nice cup of tea and internet access.. what a great way to spend a day off! jt