Heidi and Dawn, two of my coworkers at JCPenney, picked me up from my condo around 11:30am.
Heidi, Dawn and I had a few stops to make on the way to Mitchell Creek Canyon. We went over to Dustin's (Heidi's boyfriend) to drop off his phone. Then we made the trek over to Jeremy's house. The entire way there, and most of the way to MCC, I saw dozens of prairie dogs and kept expressing my delight in how adorable they are, and how there were so many of them.
I will, one of these days, get a photograph of a prairie dog. I am determined.
Anyway, after taking a bunch of super unfamiliar backroads, Jeremy and I determined that Heidi had kidnapped us all, and was taking us somewhere mysterious and far in the woods. We were sort of right, as Mitchell Creek Canyon does contain woodlands, but mostly wrong for obvious reasons.
Heidi parked the car in a cozy neighborhood and told us we had arrived. Whaaat? I thought we were going to a canyon, not to someone's house? Heidi pointed down the hill, behind the house, towards a path that went into the woods. Oh. Derp.
The hike started off easy. Note the words: Started off. There was a sidewalk surrounded by nature, a perfect strolling environment. The creek, as I imagined there would be one based on the name of the place, bubbled and purred its way through the canyon.
Our four-person hiking party was quickly split into two groups: The Photogs, and the Non-Photogs. Heidi and Jeremy's quick feet and eager hearts raced on ahead of Dawn and I. Dawn and I enjoyed taking our time to take photographs. I absolutely loved and appreciated that I had a fellow photographer to lag behind with me.
The nature was just breathtaking, even in the dead of winter. The detail of the bark on the trees, the crispness of the ridges in the rock, the sound of the breeze whooshing through the trees - everything was perfect.
My most absolute favorite part of the nature on this trip would have to be the water trickles we came across. They were small, but you could hear them from a distance, and the soothing sound made you so comfortable that you didn't want to move from the rock you perched your butt on to gaze upon the beauty of Mother Nature.
Dawn and I kept trading places climbing up and down the rock so that we could each have our moment to get our snapshots.
Dawn shoots film exclusively (besides phone photography), and I can't wait to see her creations after we get film developed (I took some film photographs as well). I'm hoping to have my dark room set up before the summer.
Dawn and I took our time to express our creativity. We would occasionally catch up to Heidi and Jeremy, and not because we quickened our pace, believe me. They would stop and wait for us to catch up, although part of me thinks they just waited to make sure we were making it through the canyon okay.
Jeremy is apparently an avid tree climber, as when I mentioned that I had never climbed a tree, I was met with a bunch of "WHAT?"s from the group, with Jeremy adding, "That's crazy."
They would start zooming on ahead as soon as we became within sight of them, so Dawn and I were able to immerse ourselves in the beautiful small scenes surrounding us.
We eventually turned around, and then after burning all of those calories, we decided we needed a few, so we went to The Crave, a delicious burger joint in Castle Rock, Colorado. We had "adult" shakes (aka, dessert cocktails made into a full-blown shake, which is freakishly delicious), and we each had sandwiches. My choice? A Nutty Professor Burger (peanut butter and bacon) with fries and a Mud-Slide shake.
Oh, also, I learned what a milkshake straw is. Had no idea they made huge straws for shakes. What the hell, Wisconsin? Why do you keep giving us tiny straws that don't let us drink our milkshakes until they are half-melted? Don't you realize the struggles of trying to drive your car and slurp up your milkshake with a tiny straw from hell?
Seriously though. One of the best inventions ever.