Monday, August 8, 2016

Reservoir Road to Bottom of Knapp Trail

Today's hike was glorious! There were four of us and we walked up the Los Alamos Reservoir Road, starting from the Ice Rink, to the bottom of the Knapp Trail. The dirt road was more pleasant than when I walked it a month ago - it wasn't dusty (thanks to our recent rains) and there were no front end loaders going back and forth. In the Reservoir itself, we imagined we saw fish darting about but a closer look showed they were salamanders.

The real beauty of the hike begins on the Los Alamos Canyon Trail going past the Reservoir to the base of the Knapp Trail. All around, there is food aplenty for any wild bears - ripe chokecherries, rosehips, raspberries, thimbleberries - and we enjoyed sampling some! The trail is all leafed out with aspens, shrubs and wildflowers and there are blind corners. I fully expected to meet a bear around each one but saw neither bear nor sign. The steep canyon sides are so green that one hiker commented that they looked velvet-covered. We saw a large hawk fly overhead and land on a cliff and then fly across canyon as we watched.

Around 10:30am, as we sat on a log at the base of the Knapp Trail, eating our snacks, gray clouds moved in from the south. On the way back, we heard thunder and had enough rain drops for some to don rain gear. Pretty soon, the rain stopped but not the thunder and we heard more the closer we got to the Reservoir Road gate. The real rain held off until around noon, after all the hikers, except me, got into their cars and drove off. I sat in my car and ate lunch while I watched the rainfall with its small hail and thunder and lightning.

I'm so grateful to this group of hikers who agreed to go all the way up Los Alamos Canyon to the Knapp Trail!

In Upper Los Alamos Canyon, near the base of the Knapp Trail, view from our turnaround.