Cottonwood Draw Hike
On Monday, we spontaneously decided to drive up to Wyoming to visit my parents. My brother, his girlfriend, and my niece were all up there too, which helped influence my decision to go. My sister, Karen, also came, so we had the whole family at home with the exception of Cindy, who is in Nebraska with her significant other right now.
We got there late Monday evening, after making a side stop in Cheyenne for fireworks. They are banned in Colorado, so the fireworks stands in Cheyenne, which is just north of the Colorado/Wyoming border, are quite busy. The parking lot was full of Colorado license plates.
After putting Adrianna to bed, I played the piano at my parents’ house. I think this is the first time I have been able to play in a year or more. It felt so good. I really need to get myself a piano. Then we watched Greg shoot off some Roman Candles and light some glow worms and smoke bombs and some other fireworks that I do not remember the names of.
On Tuesday, we all trekked out to a trail near the Greyrocks Reservoir that headed towards the Cottonwood Draw, which contains a small waterfall after about a 2 mile hike. It is a really pretty area; rugged bluffs and lots of sage. The smell of sage brought back memories of a camping trip there that my family had gone on so many years ago. As you get closer to the small waterfall, the scenery gets more overgrown with trees, vines, and other greenery. It should be noted that there really isn’t much of a trail. We pretty much forged our way as we followed a meandering stream, which meant that we had to leap across the stream quite a bit as we made our way around fallen trees or other overgrown brush that we couldn’t make our way through.
Greg carried Adrianna on his back, using a backpack that my parents had from when I was a baby.
The day was hot and Adrianna is heavy (over 23 pounds), so thankfully my dad was also able to take a turn with toting her around. Adrianna did really well on the trip. She even fell asleep for a little while on the way back.
We were thankful to arrive at the waterfall. We were all hot and tired. Brian and Nga climbed to the top of the waterfall.
The rest of us were content to dip our heads under the cold water.
One of my favorite quotes from the trip was when my six year old niece asked her daddy (my brother) if he would put all the neat rocks she had found into his backpack so that he could carry them.
We did see some wildlife, although no deer or elk. I am sure they heard us coming from a mile away. We saw a salamander in the stream and a 3 foot snake crossed my path right in front of me. When I first spotted the snake, I only saw his middle. Uh oh. Bull snakes and rattlers look an awful lot alike unless you can see their heads or tails. (Rattlesnakes have the tell-tale triangle shaped head and, of course, a rattle on their tail.) And, contrary to what many people believe, Rattlers do NOT always rattle first before striking. So I stopped in my tracks and let him pass so I could catch a glimpse of his tail. No rattle. Whew. It was a bull snake.