Friday, July 7, 2017

My Happy Place

My favorite thing about living in Denver is being so close to the mountains. 
From my front door in the city to a peaceful mountain meadow is only about 40 minutes. 
So, on the day before my birthday, I was happy to trek up to Mt. Falcon Park for a weekday hike.

Although this open space can be crowded on the weekends, weekdays are much quieter 
with mostly older hikers, a few shiny black ravens and an occasional hummingbird.

My happy place!


Signs are posted to be aware and alert to other denizens like bears and mountain lions. 
Although I've seen a few deer and a black Abert's squirrel, I've yet to have a "surprise encounter."


These bear-proof garbage cans do remind you to stay on your toes!


A loop trail encircles this lovely green meadow and the great thing about it is ... it's fairly flat!


The meadows are dotted with amazing rock outcroppings.


You might see an occasional mountain biker on the trail. Although they are generally polite to hikers, we noticed a new sign saying bikers with "bad behavior" would be fined. 


One of the most amazing things about Mt. Falcon is its castle,
not something you'd expect to find in the mountains. 


Now in ruins, this historical site is bittersweet to explore. 
Built in 1909 by John Brisben Walker, a self-made millionaire who owned Cosmopolitan 
magazine among other investments, this was once a grand home with ten bedrooms, 
five fireplaces, a music room, an observation deck and servants quarters.


Tragically, Mrs. Walker died just seven years after the mansion was built. 
Two years later, the house was struck by lightning and burned down. 


Although Mr. Walker left his dream house behind, the four thousand acres 
he'd purchased became what is now Mt. Falcon Park.


By preserving this beautiful land, Walker left a wonderful legacy that many people enjoy today. 


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25 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday and thanks for taking me along on your hike. It is a beautiful place and what a sad story.

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    1. Thanks so much for the birthday greetings Marlene. Glad you enjoyed the hike and story. Hugs, Pat

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  2. I enjoyed the tour from your hike. Denver is such a great city sitting there at the foot of the Rockies. My youngest daughter and I vacationed in Denver several years ago. I wish I had known about this hike at that time.

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    1. Thanks Sharon! You never know you might make that hike after all. The wonderful thing about this place is it's never going to be developed so it will always be waiting for you. Hugs, Pat

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  3. I can see why this is your happy place, it's beautiful. I looked up the castle & it's so sad that it burned down. I would have loved to see it after it was built.

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    1. Hi Cathy! I'd love to have seen it then too. It must have been breathtaking as it still is as a ruin. Hope you have a great weekend. Hugs, Pat

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  4. Indeed, my daughter used to live on the road to Mt. Falcon and had bears drifting through her property all the time. It's a great place and so close to the city. Best wishes.
    ☆*♪ღ♪Happy★Birthday♪ღ♪*☆

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    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes Monika. I looked at property in Indian Hills when I first moved to Colorado. Your daughter and I could have been neighbors had I bought there instead of Pine Junction. I never saw a bear up there tho I know they're there! Hugs, Pat

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  5. Happy Birthday to you! What a beautiful place to visit, I am used to the bears and all wild animals living so close to the fla. everglades love that sign! You look like a teenager in that picture...enjoy your birthday! Lisa@ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

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    1. Thanks so much Lisa! I've never been to the everglades tho I'd love to see it. You made my day with that teenager comment! Hugs, Pat

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  6. I love being close to the mountains too, when we are in France. On the other hand, in Australia, it is the coast and the water that attract me. There, instead of watching out for bears, we have to be careful of snakes. This is what is so lovely about finding blogging buddies from around the world - seeing and hearing about completely different things. Thanks!

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    1. So nice to hear from you Catherine. I've heard there are more things in Australia that will kill you than anyplace on Earth. True? I'm also happy we blogging buddies can learn from each other and enjoy our friendships. Hugs to you, Pat

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    2. Yes, Pat. In Australia, we do have a huge number of unfriendly creatures. I'd still recommend a visit!

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  7. Really enjoyed the tour of the park with you. Thanks for an interesting post.

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    1. Thanks so much! Hope you're having a wonderful summer! Hugs, Pat

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  8. I can't wait to do this hike next time we are in Denver as we are only 6 hours away! I enjoyed learning about Mr. Walker's home and how God brought good out of his tragedy in the form of a gorgeous park for later generations to enjoy. Thanks for this lovely post!

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    1. Thank you Sammi! I hope you're able to see this beautiful place some day. I wonder where you live if you're six hours from here (I know that's how far it is to Santa Fe). Enjoy your summer! Hugs, Pat

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  9. Pat, thanks for this interesting hike in a beautiful landscape and what an amazing story. We love the Rockies and Colorado. We have a trip planned in October to Aspen. We used to ski in the Rockies almost every winter. Thanks for sharing at Gardens Galore!

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  10. Thanks Pam! Ooh, Aspen in October is the best time to enjoy the Rockies. So glad you took this hike with me! Hugs, Pat

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  11. What a beautiful happy place and what a blessing that it is so close. :) I am following you now on email and Pinterest... so glad I found your beautiful blog. :)

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  12. You look just like Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music." Your mountains are beautiful. Thanks for sharing them. I live near the Blue Ridge in North Carolina and I agree that there is just something that about being in the mountains that fills me up and recharges me.

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  13. Our Utah mountains is a happy place for me as well Pat. You certainly feel God's spirit when you are nestled in amongst his creations. That castle is amazing! Would love to see it next time we visit Colorado. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  14. Hey Sister, I hope that I crossed your mind when you were there and that you remembered the day you and I hiked at Mt. Falcon. It was sure a peaceful place even with the rain that eventually fell on us . Hope we can go again sometime.

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  15. Such a HAPPY PLACE! I can see why you love it so much!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  16. Pat, my girls have both moved from Texas to Denver and they love it, too. Thanks for sharing your happy place at Vintage Charm!

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