Last week I hiked in one of my favorite parks in the Jefferson County Open Space park system – Reynolds Park. Reynolds Park is some distance from Denver, about an hour, depending on traffic. There’s closer hikes and bigger parks closer to Denver, but let’s face it: Bigger isn’t always better.

When I lived in Evergreen, the town where Reynolds Park is located, I used to ride my mountain bike there on my birthday every year. Since the late 90s Reynolds Park has outlawed mountain bikes, making it more user-friendly for hikers and equestrians. Although I miss riding in Reynolds Park, not for its technical difficulties or its unparalleled views, I understand that bikers, hikers, and horses do not always mix. And until I started trail running, I never understood why we wheelers should have to share our space with those merely walking.

Hiking affords me the opportunity to play tourist while enjoying the great outdoors and getting exercise. Mountain biking demands so much focus that if I were on my mountain bike this past week, I would have never been able to enjoy the beautiful flowers and the ambient butterflies that populate Reynolds Park.

I took pictures until my battery died.

Near the trailhead

Near the trailhead

A macro look at the delicate life

A macro look at the delicate life

Dueling columbines - the Colorado state flower

Dueling columbines - the Colorado state flower

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More hearty alpine flora

More hearty alpine flora

Dandelion habitat

Dandelion habitat

The dead dandelion - a symbol of so many things

The dead dandelion - a symbol of so many things

Cluster of beauty

Cluster of beauty

Succulents exert their beauty

Succulents exert their beauty

A regal field - gold and purple

A regal field - gold and purple

Rugged beauty

Rugged beauty

From front to back - pine, Buffalo Creek area, Pike's Peak

From front to back - pine, Buffalo Creek area, Pike's Peak

The trail offered some shade

The trail offered some shade

You can tell which way the wind usually blows

You can tell which way the wind usually blows

Walk until the end of the world

Walk until the end of the world

Indian Paintbrush - my personal favorite

Indian Paintbrush - my personal favorite

A colony of yellow things

A colony of yellow things

Some say shadows ruin a picture - I naysay to that

Some say shadows ruin a picture - I naysay to that

I naysay again

I naysay again

Tall and Proud

Tall and Proud

Find the grey butterfly

Find the grey butterfly

Underneath a pine tree

Underneath a pine tree

There’s more from that hike, including a “Quaking Aspen” series. Check back later in the week.

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