A Trio: Sanitas Valley Trail, The Goat Trail, Wonderland Lake Trail

 Flatirons from east Sanitas Valley Trail.

Flatirons from east Sanitas Valley Trail.

A quiet, cloudy, slightly cooler Sunday morning today. Tired legs tired from Saturday's long run. Cancelled bicycle ride due to threatening rains and thunderstorms. A hike around our neighborhood loop seemed reasonable (and meditative) substitute. 

A quick hike up the connector trail to Dakota Ridge and down to Sanitas Valley Trail opened the expansive view to my lodestar, the Flatirons.

I continued up Sanitas Valley Trail, reflecting back to the Flatirons to the south, Mt. Sanitas to the immediate west and Dakota Ridge to the east. I joined walkers with dogs, with strollers, young and old. The hills are turning lightly brown but many wildflowers and flowering weeds still perky and bright.

 White poppies with blue Batchelor buttons.

White poppies with blue Batchelor buttons.

Before the Trail turns left up to Mt. Sanitas, I turned right and down The Goat Trail. Views of Boulder to the east spread out, the neighborhoods distinct, the brick buildings of CU Boulder marking their pride of place, and the gathering dark clouds passing shadows over the entire landscape.

 The Goat Trail looking west to Boulder.

The Goat Trail looking west to Boulder.

I continued to the connector north from The Goat Trail to Linden Road, where meadows of wild sweet pea, more Batchelor Buttons and grasses spread in front of me. Paragliders were floating off the Front Range west of Wonderland Lake while birds glided in the lower currents.

 Sweet pea meadow.

Sweet pea meadow.

A doe and fawn leaped across Linden Road then stopped to watch me pass.

 Mother watches fawn who is watching me.

Mother watches fawn who is watching me.

I made my way around Wonderland Lake, watching the ducks dip for food, a few men fishing, and more walkers with dogs.

 Wonderland Lake, east side.

Wonderland Lake, east side.

Finally, the view back to the Flatirons from north side of Wonderland Lake, one of my favorites, before I walked through the neighborhood for coffee and the Sunday paper.

 Flatirons and Cottonwood trees, view from Wonderland Lake.

Flatirons and Cottonwood trees, view from Wonderland Lake.