Today we added hail to the crazy weather. While the scenery around here is great, it is a real pain in the neck to have to try and get anything outdoors done before noon.
That said, we slept in really late today before we drove the 30 miles south to the town of Salida for a change.
We needed a nice low altitude hike. I picked one called Castle Garden from the book I had bought. It is a 3 km out and back hike up a very eroded dry creek bed.
We started in the sun.
Jennie is always watching the ground for anything interesting.
The some dark clouds moved overhead. The rain started and got heavy enough to put our jackets on. We even ducked under a tree for the worst few minutes.
Then back to bright sunshine.
The guide book said that there was a cave along the way. This is the best we could find.
The rain started again as we neared the car.
We drove back into the center of town to look at the kayakers on the Arkansas River. They have added some barriers to the river to create some extra white water.
They also have poles hanging down to create a slalom course.
We sat and had lunch while we watched. Of course we soon had to move under a tree as the rain started once again.
Some people were getting lessons on going through the wave. This guy made it.
This one got turned sideways and did a an incomplete Eskimo roll.
The hail started on the drive to our next stop. It was not really big but I hated the sound of it on the roof so I parked under a large tree for the few minutes it took for that storm to pass.
There is a weird, very conical hill just north of town called Tenderfoot Mountain. I have no idea where the name comes from.
You can see the hail storm moving off to the east behind it.
The hill looks too perfect to be natural but I saw some rocky outcroppings on the way up that could not be man made,
Since the hill is conical they have built a spiral dirt road to a viewpoint at the top.
Looking down on Salida from the top.
Another car was coming up. Weirdly, it was a fully camouflage painted (green and brown) Toyota SUV driven by a rather elderly couple. I should have asked them why.
Round they go.
Looking down at the kayakers, which you can’t see behind the trees.
Looking north towards the mountains and Buena Vista.
There also just happened to be a Walmart in town. We made a not so short stop before we headed home (to more rain).