Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sugarloaf Mountain--From the Top.

A sunny November Saturday was a perfect day for a run along the Trail. Though there was snow, ice and mud on the ground in the shady and the lee side of the mountains, much of the trail was open and dry. At the east end of the five-mile run from the Peak to Peak Highway (State Highway 72), Claudia waited for me with sandwiches, fresh water and Conor O'Neill. We hiked to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain and had a picnic.

In direct view here, due east, lies the city of Boulder, Colorado. The road running from lower right to upper middle is Arapahoe Avenue (State Highway 7), crossing Foothills Parkway (State Highway 157) just above the ridge of the lower foothills. Compare this image with the one made from that intersection.

Boulder County Legion Park is immediately past the right (south) edge of the large reservoir, positioned here just above the stack of the power plant in the middle of the image.

Along the way to the top we saw grim reminders of the fire that devastated the area in 1979.

Conor O'Neill, 60 pounds, shows the size of the remainder of a tree.
The top also offers a sweeping view of the original townsite of Sugar Loaf.

better viewing: click on the image.
This is looking south from the peak, the broad canyon of Boulder Creek sweeping across the middle of the image, just past the two barren rises in the landscape.

One can easily imagine this as a splendid location for a town, yet even more striking in this 2009 image is the long-lasting impact of the Black Tiger Fire that swept through in 1989, burning to the ground everything in its path. On second thought, maybe this is closer to what the town looked like in 1910, before the forests grew to today's density.

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