Fooses Creek

By Ericka Kastner

Beloved by locals as one of the quickest routes to getting in a skinny ski fix, Fooses Creek Trail affords not only quick access from Salida (about a 15-minute drive by car or hitch by thumb) but also varied terrain and numerous route options, making it a trail with something for everyone in all seasons.

The trailhead approach begins about 9.5 miles west of the intersection of U.S. Hwys. 50 and 285 in Poncha Springs. Traveling west on 50, take a left turn onto C.R. 225 and drive a snowy, usually plowed road about .7 miles to the parking for Fooses.

Youngsters along for the adventure will appreciate seeing Fooses Lake at the start of the trail (elevation 8,920 feet) and likely will be curious as to whether it’s frozen enough to skate on during the colder months. It’s actually a small reservoir and the water flowing out of it to the east to a hydroelectric plant at lower elevations tends to keep the lake soft just beneath the surface all winter.

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Searching the Night Sky

By Christopher Kolomitz

Mankind has always found the night sky intriguing, and a base foundation of science is centered there. The movement of sun, moon, earth and other planets is especially visible here in Central Colorado, where low population, low humidity and nearly 300 totally cloudless nights create perfect viewing conditions.

The crisp air and silence of a deep winter’s night can leave a person literally breathless. Tilt your head to the heavens and the awe becomes even greater when the Milky Way shines like a ribbon across the sky. Summer camp trips into the woods often become dotted with recollections of meteors, full moon adventures and philosophical starry night discussions.

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Skiing Nordic Style

By Nate Porter

As the seasons change and the winter solstice approaches, it’s time to turn our attention from warmer weather activities to other things. Of course, in Central Colorado we are lucky enough to enjoy a climate that allows many different activities year-round. Hiking and biking here can be great in the winter, but how about mixing it up a little with some cross-country skiing? Why cross country, also known as Nordic, skiing? Well, there are many reasons to get out and experience the environment on skinny skis.

Foremost are the physical and mental health benefits. Nordic skiing is great for the whole body. The legs and lungs get a great workout as does the upper body. Humans were designed to move over the earth in an upright, bipedal manner. Walking allows us to feel grounded and connected to the earth in the most basic way. Nordic skiing is simply the winter version of this. It’s good for working different muscles, easy on the back, and encourages breathing in a deep, rhythmic manner.

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