Apparently the only thing consistent with the weather in Colorado this time of year is the inconsistency. This week has included snow, frigid evening temperatures, and the balmy 60+ degree day.

Dirty Dog

This swing in temperatures, however, can make an otherwise lovely hike through El Dorado Canyon become a rather monstruous battle between ice, snow, and Nelson’s love of chasing “the deers.” An otherwise lovely afternoon was interrupted by my foolish decision to let Mr. Willie Nelson Mandela off leash. He’s done fine before, normally running ahead and immediatley treking back at the first whistle. Rarely does he get out of my sight.

Dirty Dog

This week, however, he spotted some giant white tailed snacks and took off like a maniac for the hills. I spent no fewer than 15 minutes hyperventalating, calling his name, and cursing my stupid decision to let him roam free. Eventually, thankfully, he came back — but not after I’d gone 1/4 a mile off trail, through knee high snow in some spots, slippery mud in others, and up a steep mountain covered in tiny cactus.

Dirty Dog

I know. Snow. Cactus. Mud. Boulder County. What can I say? It’s a gloriously beautiful and weird place — those Flat Iron Mountains.

Dirty Dog

Dirty Dog

Thankfully, the little muddy beast came back fine, if not a bit shaken by the rare scolding. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he needed a bath afterward. (He’s currently sulking on the couch, curly and smelling of strawberry shampoo.)

yello!

Lessons learned: don’t let WNM off leash, bring a second pair of shoes this time of year, take more hikes. Even with the cleaning required after, it was so luxurious to be out in the sunshine, listening to the wind pour through the pines and watching that sweet little creature of mine adventure like he’d never before been let outside.

~K