Vacation in Fort Collins! dear friend, coworker, and local guide, Marilyn, invited us to come down out of the mountains for an overnight in Fort Collins.. what a great idea!   We packed a few things and hit the road.  Our first stop – our favorite cafe,  Howling Cow, where we enjoyed a cup of tea, caught up on internet news and got great tips for hikes in Fort Collins and for a local pie shop..   Me Oh My  Coffee and Pie..     we could not resist that!..

the fact that it happened to be PI day only heightened our interest 🙂    In side, we found a great selection of homemade goodies… settled on little hand pies..  appropriately priced for the day at  $3.14 …   so tempting, we took a bite before I could reach for my phone to take a pic!

I was struck by some of the signs hanging in the shop.. could not resist taking a shot of this one…

Next stop was the trail head for the Foothills Trail.. coincidentally, just across the street from Marilyn’s home!   This trail is located by the “old”  Colorado State University stadium.  It did not look all that old to me, but a new one will be ready for the 2017 football season…   the pic at the top of the post is  of the mountain behind the stadium..  complete with the letter A painted on the hillside… Although the mascot for the university is now a Ram,  in the old days the school was known as the Aggies, and the A is a tradition that has continued to thrive..  apparently the freshmen football players are tasked with the job of refreshing the paint each year.

This is where we need to insert the interesting part… Marilyn’s father, a mountain man through and through, cautioned her to never hike this hill because of the resident rattlesnake population… if you happen to know Janet.. you understand that this kind of story sparks considerable anxiety!   But it is March, and the snakes are still snug in their dens… we hope!

so off we go!   a very nice path, very popular with the locals…  I wonder if they understand how fortunate they are to have so many recreational opportunities so close at hand!

no, Janet.. this is not a rattlesnake hole!    try a prairie dog 🙂  .. lots of them.. right behind the stadium …

look closely, and you will see a little head checking out the world…

made it to the top!   That is Horsetooth Reservoir behind us… a 10 mile , narrow body of water that is filled with snow melt each year ( provided a good snowfall in the mountains)  and which provides lots of boating recreation in the summer as well as water for Fort Collins..

looking down at Fort Collins..  we are at the tippy top of the “A”  thus the white stones in the foreground..

After we completed the hike, we went in search of another pie place, but we were not successful.. instead, we stumbled into an amazing yarn shop..  folks were gathered around a table, knitting and chatting, while in another room people were weaving on small looms…  it was a totally cool shop- wish my daughter could come out and visit.. so much to show her.. this shop would be near the top of the list!

We then met Marilyn at her home and decided to conclude the day with dinner at El Burrito – a local restaurant with a longstanding reputation for authentic Mexican food..  what a treat that was!

This brings a fun-filled busy day to an end… stay tuned for day two!   jt

























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