Thanksgiving morning. Lots of options this morning, probably the best being "Tim's Thanksgiving Ride" at which around 100 cyclists showed up but it was too early and too cold (relatively speaking of course) so I headed south and east to the Douglas Spring Trail. There were two groups scheduled to depart from the trail head, a social group of around 12 hikers headed for a 5 mile hike to Bridal Wreath Falls and a fitness group of 6 headed beyond for 17 miles.
It was a different experience. Our group of 6 got going but after a mile, two dropped off a very fast pace set by leader "Mark". Soon another dropped back and I mentioned to Mark and Joel, the other remaining hiker, that we were down to three. We hit some climbs and Joel dropped back and I told Mark we were down to two. He said it was a fitness hike, the trail easy to follow and he wasn't waiting. We kept going. While the route was 17 miles round trip, it was only 2500' of climbing and the scenery was mile after mile of what you see above. At mile 5, with 2000' of elevation already gained, I turned around. There wasn't any reason to keep going, no cool destination, just more of the same and nothing but mostly flat hiking to come.
At the turn around point, our average was 3.2mph, which is very fast and on the way back, I enjoyed the views to the west where the clouds were parting.
On the return, I saw what was likely the Bridal Wreath Falls area so when I reached the trail junction, I headed for.......
....the falls. The water was a trickle though but still, kind of a neat place and after poking around, I found.....
....a climb to the top of the falls via the above notch having some conveniently placed tree roots for hand holds.
A nice view while standing at the top of the falls. A lot of cottonwoods in the ravine with leaves that are changing colors. With only about a mile until the parking lot.....
...I came across a SAR team in action. A woman was being transferred to a stretcher but was very agitated. Not sure what was the problem but eventually they allowed us to pass and I finished with 10.5 miles.