Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Hidden Gem in Northern Colorado

Poudre Canyon - Nice Drive Any Time of the Year

Tucked away in northern Colorado just north and west of Fort Collins, Colorado is the Poudre Canyon.  I am so lucky to live about 45 minutes from this gorgeous area.  Bill and I enjoy driving through the canyon several times a year.  We were able to do that on Friday, December 27.  It was a bright sunny day, and the temperature in the sunshine was just over 50 degrees.

As we started on our trek to the west, the first place we stopped was Picnic Rock.  This is a beautiful area on the Poudre River that is very popular for picnics.  In the summer, people swim and frolic in the water here.  Snow is on the ground now but it is great looking at the peaceful river here.

After walking around there for awhile and talking to a man and his daughter who were also visiting this day, we got back in the van and started back up the road.  The further up the road you go, the more rapids you see in the river.  The road runs along side the river.

We had brought a picnic lunch, and since we started our journey late morning, we searched out a good picnic spot.  It took awhile to find one in the sun.  Most of the picnic benches located along the Poudre River are in the shade.  That makes lots of sense for when you are there in the summer.  However, it was dramatically colder in the shade than it was in the sun when we were there last Friday .  We did find a wonderful sunny picnic location and set out our sandwiches to eat.  The river was beautiful there with small rapids.  It was running fairly quickly with light and shadows on the river.

Much to my surprise there were two stellar jays flitting among the pine trees by our picnic spot.  These birds are incredibly beautiful, and being a native of Missouri, I was not familiar with them.  They are a teal green/blue with a comb on the head similar to a blue jay.  One of these jays was very accommodating of me and sat still in a tree for quite some time while I snapped lots of shots.

After our lunch and visit with the birds, we continued up through the canyon.  The rock canyon walls keep the river in constant shade in many areas, and the ice was thick on the river.  Yet there were always areas where the water bubbled up.  This was quite impressive as the ice was several feet thick, and the water was gushing through holes in the ice.

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