There is still snow in high country but the runoff is starting in earnest and the rivers are swelling while trail and parks are opening up to visitors. The Fraser River has come up and a few lucky people may be able to take their paddleboats and other smaller craft through Thumper, the White Mile, and other exciting intermediate plus whitewater. Just remember, it was snow just hours before and be prepared for cold and wet!
The BLM put-ins on the Upper Colorado, I hear, have been crowded with water and sun worshipers as the river stays at fun levels 3,000 or 4,000 or even 5,000 CFS. Just please remember your life jacket and sunscreen and keep all your senses working. When the water gets higher the swift moving cold water of spring can create life-threatening situations, especially if you are ejected into the water unprepared. Plan to go boating with people who have experience and the proper gear. It could make a difference whether or not you return to run the river again.
Most people running the rivers now are not doing well at practicing social distancing or are not able to comply with masks or face shields. Please do not go to use these facilities, parks, or trails if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. One reason Grand County has done relatively well during this epidemic is that we are naturally distanced by our way of life. We are a hardly, resistant people with naturally strong constitutions. But the people visiting our recreation sites are not always locals – it just takes one infected people to spread the virus in a 7-man paddleboat or group of boats traveling together. Or in a hiking group traveling together to a destination.
If you have symptoms, stay at home for 1-2 weeks. If someone in the group that you recreated with starts having symptoms or tests positive, stay at home for 1-2 weeks. Don’t be responsible for making others sick. Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to meeting others whether boating, visiting parks or using trails. Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains. Share the trail and be courteous enough to warn other trail users of your presence as you pass or stop for a break. Some people are almost religious about the recommended physical distancing of 6 ft – many of these people are in higher risk categories or have had diseases that have compromised their immune systems. Be thoughtful enough to care about your friends.
Most of the trails are now drying out but if you leave a track, please turn back. The Fraser to Granby Trail is in good shape from the Fraser Ballfields to Tim’s Tunnel but, due to the management changeover at Granby Ranch, the portion of the trail on Granby Ranch property has some spots in much need of maintenance. Granby Ranch trails are also drying out and usable. The fabulous trails at Snow Mountain Ranch are again open but watch out for the spots that are in drainages and may yet be mudholes. Headwaters Trails Alliance is already hard at work clearing trees downed from winter storms and busy dealing with the beavers on the Tabernash to YMCA portion of F to G trail. If you spot trees that are down or trails that are washed out or in need of major repair, please report these problems to HTA by calling HTA at 970-726-1013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HTA is offering a Trail Training workshop on Saturday from 9a-3p for National Trails Day. This is a workshop on the ever-popular Adopt-A-Trail program and shows you how to become a volunteer with HTA! Morning training in the classroom will be followed by practice in afternoon in the field and cover techniques such as corridor clearing, draining construction, fallen timber clearing, tool safety, risk management and how to report trail accomplishments and trail issues. Training will also include a tutorial of the trail app, COTREX, wit lunch and training material included. Register by calling 970-726-1013 or email email@example.com. Class is limited and registration required.
Flowers are popping out everywhere led by the purple Pasque flower, blue Chiming Bells, and beautiful patches of white to pink phlox. Other more delicate varieties are starting to appear so challenge yourself to see how many kinds you can identify…