Frigid Walk to Commonwheel and recalling Intermann Trail

It was really foggy and frigid today in Manitou Springs.

I did take a walk to Commonwheel Artists Gallery after getting my FantaFaces inventory photographed using my freezing front porch studio. I really hope it warms up early next week to get in a real hike without having to freeze my face, feet and hands.

A couple of Sunday’s ago, I was sitting out on my front porch creating some file folders for articles I want to be able to find more easily in the future for researching a couple of books. The sun felt soooo good. My right knee that had been pretty painful the last few days was feeling much better.
I knew some different weather was headed our way, maybe tomorrow. So I was thinking it would be nice if my Greek walking friend showed up and I could walk up the street with her if she did. Just then, my phone rang and a couple of friends wanted to know if I would like to join them on a short hike on the Intermann Trail, just up the street from me. I said that would be delightful, and since it costs to park most places in Manitou Springs, I suggested they park in my driveway to make that easy for them. I went in to change shoes and pants and was ready when they arrived.
We walked up Ruxton Avenue until we got to Spring Street to the Intermann Trail. I plan on hiking it and some of its side trails as Spring comes around. And it is the starting point for a big hike up Red Mountain I want to do this year.
The trail was a bit icy in spots.
 So we hiked slowly and carefully at those points.
Icy Spot on Paul Intermann Trail in Manitou Springs
Each of us noted at different places that it would have been smart to have had a hiking stick or YakTracks on our shoes. Then again, most of the trail was clear of snow and ice, so just a little bit challenging. I was glad to discover that my knee actually felt better hiking than when I was just standing. Bonus!
They have the cutest little little Yorkie named Tiger that they rescued a few years ago. He is very short, so when we went through the snowy areas it looked like he was sledding on his stomach and his sweater got a bit wet.
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He did walk most of the way on his own. At a few really deep snowy spot, he did get picked up and carried, but mostly he just scampered along with us as long as his “mom” was in front of him.
This trail gives a long distance views of William’s Canyon with the city below us. I thought I could use a few for  illustrating why we are so much at risk from flooding in the future in the planned update of my Lessons from Past Floods book.
Williams Canyon & Manitou Springs viewed from Paul Intermann Tra Waldo Canyon Burn area viewed from Paul Intermann Trail
On the way back we stopped to visit a friend who is dealing with a debilitating disease. We chatted about his new deck and the Broncos going to the Super Bowl.
Then as we walked home, I spotted this very joyful tree stump.
Not only could I feel joy emanating out of this tree that is not longer living, but there was a smiling face just about at its “stomach” area.
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Can you feel it? Can you see him?
And then there was the face or puppet being on his left arm . . .
We all just stopped and marveled at this sight.
We have probably all walked by it many times before, but this time really saw these fun images and felt its energy.
What a great way to end this hike together. Laughing and smiling at the wonders of nature and how even trees that are no longer growing can make us feel happy.
When I returned to my house, I saw my Greek walking friend’s car was parked in the driveway, but I didn’t know where she was. And since she doesn’t have a cell phone, I had no way of contacting her. A bit later, she rang my doorbell when she returned and we caught up for a few minutes before she had to head back home. Lovely ending to my day.

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