On the trail of a trail

A sky blue sky over Pike National Forest.
A sky blue sky over Pike National Forest.

Colorado is home to some of the worst urban planning in the nation (Denver appears to have been designed by drunk shitkickers who drew a haphazard labyrinth of one-way arrows on a scroll and said, “good ‘nuff,” and navigating Grand Junction’s streets named for letters with fractions—what the hell is “E ½”? a lowercase “F”?—is like trying to solve a complex algebra equation, to name just two of the state’s most egregious examples).

A gifted mimic, Miles here and below...
A gifted mimic, Miles here and below…

This nonsense is largely made tolerable due to the fact that Colorado also happens to be rich in natural beauty. Unfortunately, its planning issues sometimes extend into the wild. Or at least what used to be wild.

Take the Cub Creek Trail, which winds through Pike National Forest southwest of Denver and offers stunning views of … ostentatious homes, much of the land on which they reside having been purchased in recent years from a government that is bankrupt in more ways than one. But at least in this stagnant economy, the homeowners are doing their part to keep the barbed-wire-fence and “Private Property”-sign industries afloat.

...does his best Anthony impression.
…does his best Anthony impression.

Although its path no longer extends into the Mount Evans wilderness—which a Forest Service web page ambiguously says is “due to land ownership issues”—Cub Creek Trail still offers striking solitude given its proximity to Denver (unless you go on a day when trees are being chainsawed, rednecks are shooting at gas cans, nearby residents are dumping random garbage, or aliens or cult members are burning weird circles into the ground).

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4 thoughts on “On the trail of a trail

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  1. So, let me get this straight: They’re actually allowing people to purchase land inside the National Forest? And here I thought the degradation of these natural spaces was limited to letting cows graze at will and shit all over everything.

    That does explain why target practice sounded so close last time we were there!

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    1. Yeah, the Forest Service and BLM are so underfunded, the land parcels they’ve been selling in recent years are starting to encroach on long-established trails. This seems to be especially true in border regions like the Cub Creek Trail, which spans (or spanned) national forest land and a dedicated wilderness area. At least the area is still cow-free!

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  2. Seriously!!! What is up with F1/2, etc.??? Arizona has some weird stuff in the wilderness too. At the entrance to the box canyon here in Florence, there is a map that shows all the boundaries and which areas you need a permit to hike or drive through and you can’t get from point A to point B without going through these areas. And the landowners here have guns!!!!!!

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    1. Of course they have guns. They have to protect their precious private property from the invading Mexicans, who are trying to come to America for the very things those crackers’ ancestors immigrated here for (probably also illegally).

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