Author: Diana Lynn Rau

Trails Report

GRAND COUNTY TRAILS AUG 15, 2017 DIANA LYNN RAU Adverse weather like too much rain or too little rain affects the health of our fragile environment.  We are lucky in the Fraser Valley to not usually have the weather events of the Front Range or other parts of the country.  We have hailstorms – I survived three different storms rafting on the Upper Colorado last Thursday.  But I haven’t seen in Grand County the baseball-size hail that sometimes hits the eastern Colorado plains creating such devastation. I haven’t seen tornadoes or earthquakes – only 5ft of snow that finally forced the local school system to cancel classes for a single day! The exceptional amount of rain we have received in this monsoon season pales to the 1-2 feet of water that has fallen from the sky in a single storm to flood towns across the Midwest and South.  Here we get big washes and ruts in trails and roads and occasionally a flash flood down a river drainage or mud slides as rain saturates a hillside.  So the way we build our trails is important – it determines how long a trail lasts in a useable form. The IMBA workshops presented across the country were aimed at the local trailbuilders – the guys and gals who put their hands in the dirt and create our trails.  I’ve mentioned several...

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Trail Report

Our Trails Need All the Help they Can Get by Diana Lyn Rau I’m not getting any younger.  When I moved to the Fraser Valley almost 35 years ago, l thought l could accomplish anything.  I’ve come pretty close to that with my crazy ideas and knack for organizing.  I loved the mountains and yearned to be outside so I ran, hiked, biked and skied like never before.  I joined the racing scene and found my niche as a travel agent with active vacations and runners, skiers, and bikers and the organizations that they travel with.    The Valley has changed so much since that time.  We had long-term mostly family landowners, old wagon roads and logging roads to explore, and time to sit over a coffee or beer and listen to the old-timers tell their stories.  Various trails ran to beautiful lakes, through the Experimental Forest, across the Continental Divide and there were never issues at trailheads or campgrounds.  In fact, you often didn’t even see anyone at all.  But Grand County has grown, businesses wanted more clients, real estate agents wanted to sell more property and other people yearned for the silence and solitude of the wilderness in which we lived. New landowners did not understand the historic usage of trails and old wagon or logging roads and how the locals depended on that ability to pass...

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Wild Flower Riot

Photos by Diana Lynn Rau   Hiking or biking the Valley trails can be pure eye candy at this time of year! The late snows have left lots of moisture in the ground and the lower Fraser Valley flowers, trees and shrubs are showing their pleasure.  The waves of full fields glowing in the sun of purple one-sided penstemon are soothing to the eyes. Like a carpet, the purple lupine fills the meadows and the hillside behind my house.  You sometimes see the tall red trumpet shapes of the Scarlet Gila or the just now emerging stalks of the...

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What’s Blooming

Sky Pilot Flower, photo courtesy of Diana Lynn Rau   by Patricia Berman and Diana Lynn Rau The flowers are spectacular this year. Diana Lynn Rau and I hiked to Stanley Mountain on the East Side of Berthoud Pass last weekend and the flowers in the alpine zone are really starting to bloom. We drove to the Henderson Mine and parked at the first lot.  As you walk up the trail, stop at the wet spots to admire lots of Bog Orchids and Little Red Elephants (look for a trunk on the flower).  At the intersection, turn right, and,...

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Adventure Education

Cooling off in the desert, 36 students from Middle Park High School take part in the annual Outdoor Educational Adventure trip on the Green River in Utah. Photos Courtesy of Diana Lynn Rau   Adventure Education is not something many students across America are privileged to experience.  Grand County has one of the best programs in the country and, last week, I was lucky enough to be a co-captain on Middle Park High School Junior River Trip II on the Greene River through Desolation and Gray Canyons in Utah to see firsthand. My spouse, Charlie Rau, has been working with...

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Share the Trails

We have tried for years to chase the success of places like Summit County for the tourist and the tourist dollar drawn to their trails, lakes and mountains. We reach out to hikers, mountain bikers, boaters and many other outdoor enthusiasts saying Come to Grand county and see what we have here to enjoy.  Grand County is endowed with beautiful scenery, incredible mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, and public lands to the envy of many other places. One of our biggest assets is the incredible system of trails we have built over the years that take us to our magic...

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Headwaters Trails Report

Volunteers working hard on the trail. Photo by Meara McQuain We have been flirting with Spring weather since March and, just when you think Spring is really here, we have another brief return to winter. There has been too much rain and snow for most of us and I for one am yearning for the warm sunny days we normally have. The snow will come again in spurts but hopefully last only the day and the warm sun will make short work of it. Time to get the garden going but don’t forget to protect those tender young plants...

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