When we were finally on our way, we headed over to Lovell Gulch Trail, just outside of Woodland Park, for a wonderful five-mile hike through Pike National Forest. There, we were able to stretch our legs and our lungs, and we were afforded breathtaking views of Pike's Peak and the Sawatch Range. It was a gorgeous day and a beautiful place and just what we needed after a day of rain and relative inactivity yesterday.
|Crossing the stream|
|King of the hill|
|A Clay-sized passage|
|The reward of our 950 foot increase in elevation|
We were all pretty hungry after our hike, so we drove into Woodland Park and found the first park with a playground and stopped for a picnic. A while later a throng of people in costumes and with musical instruments began flooding the park. And soon the whole park was filled with music and dancing. After some inquiries, we learned that it was a gathering of Morris dancers from all over the country. If this type of dancing is new to you, as it was new to us, Morris dancing is a type of English folk dancing. It was a treat for us to be caught up in the festivities!
|The Morris dancers create some of their own music with|
the bells attached to their legs.
|Many of the dancers use handkerchiefs in their dances|
|Some of the dancers use sticks to beat out rhythms|
|Not really a dancer but something of a mascot|
|"The Betty" saw me watching from the sidelines|
and decided to come educate me about what I
was seeing. He explained some of the history
and symbols of the dance. Apparently, "The Betty"
is always a man dressed in woman's clothing
and represents fertility.
Our last activity of the day was to celebrate National Hamburger Day at the oldest restaurant in Woodland Park, The Ute Inn. They had a variety of gourmet burgers, and our group ended up with a tasty selection, which included a Bleu cheese burger, a spicy apricot burger with brie cheese, a grilled cheese cheeseburger (a hamburger patty between two grilled cheese sandwiches), a kid's cheeseburger, and a couple of Ute Sloppers, which were served open faced and smothered in green chile. It was a delicious end to a lovely day.
|Happy National Hamburger Day!|
|The Ute Slopper|
|The grilled cheese cheeseburger|