Confession: This year has been less than stellar. My head feels as if it is in mixing bowl, banging repeatedly on the sides of with only the humming of a stand mixer motor in my ears. It has been chaos, and I have been surly. There never seemed to be enough hours in the day, something always needed my immediate attention, not a second to just breathe. Life is just messy and frustrating sometimes. I could sugar coat it, and turn this into just appreciating the little things, but there is no sugar coating; I have been a grumpy bird and life around our house has been a bummer. It has been evident I needed to take a moment to find clarity, but instead I just chose to be irritable. I guess you could say I don’t do change well. I need to improve on that.
We’ve been in the new place for a month, and we have yet to enjoy any of our new area save for a couple hour jaunt to the town’s reservoirs. Quite the change from the last big move; I went exploring RMNP the first few days after we arrived. This move was slower, and more stressful. Ah, the joys of being a family instead of just a couple…

Last week I decided something has to give; Dustin and Drake don’t deserve my sour attitude, nor do I. Last year by this time, Drake and I had a lot of miles on the hiking boots. This year, we had less than five miles. Hmmm…I wonder if this contributed to the funk?! I believe it has, and was overjoyed to finally get out and do a little reconnecting.

Spruce Mountain Open Space is about 3 miles from our front door. There are several trail options from the parking lot. Spruce Mountain is a mesa, meaning the top is wonderfully flat. This makes it a very easy hike with incredible views. The first 1.6 miles was a moderate climb through a series of switchbacks surrounded by Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine. Once we reached the top loop, the hike was relatively flat, with several opportunities to go out onto rock outcroppings and take in the sweeping views. Wildlflowers were all along the trail; I expect it to be really popping with color in a week or two.

When we arrived, there were only two cars in the parking lot, but when we left the parking lot was nearly full. We saw about ten people on the trail. I’m guessing this is a pretty busy area on the weekends. The only drawback of the trail was dodging all the horse poop. There was a lot!


On the way up, we went around the north side of the mountain. Familiar peaks seemed to be calling to me, “come home…come home”. I felt a little ache in my heart as I Drake and stopped at Pennock’s Point and gazed upon Long’s Peak. After having a little snack, we continued up to meet the loop trail. As we arrived at Windy Point, Pikes Peak and the Rampart Range seemed to say, “Welcome! Give us a chance”. I had to laugh at the irony: the past on the way up, the future on the way down.


Until next time,

Written by Stephanie Mullins



Hi Stephanie! It's been a loooong time since I visited your blog. It has probably been since Drake was born. Sorry for the absence and sorry you have been feeling down. Life can definitely be overwhelming, but nature is healing for sure! The photos of you and your family are wonderful! I look forward to your continuing adventures.

Stephanie and Dustin

Welcome back! I don't post often, so I don't think you have missed much 🙂 I periodically take a walk on your path to see what you are photographing. Drake loves the pics on your blog.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *