Friday, October 23, 2020

10/23 Hiking at Willow Springs in Red Rock Canyon

Summer has finally come to an end and the weather is perfect outside. Just in time for my parents to come into town to visit and of course meet Winston. We decided to get some fresh air and head to Red Rock Canyon on a Friday since it wouldn't be very crowded. There are so many trails there which we haven't done yet but want to. On this adventure, we picked the Petroglyph Wall trail (0.2 miles total, very short) and the Willow Spring Loop. 

We started off with a nice drive on the scenic loop drive trail which is part of Red Rock. We stopped at the very popular Red Rock Scenic Overlook. This is one of the highest points of the road offering a great view of the park and surrounding areas. We all took in the view, waved hi to the passing scooter club and pressed on towards Willow Spring Loop.

The parking area for Willow Spring was very well labeled both on the map and in person ensuring that it would be easy to find. As we pulled off, some of our group members went immediately to the wrong side of the road struggling to the find the rather large sign pointing towards the Petroglyph Wall Trail. Luckily, Scott was on top of his A-game and quickly located the trailhead. This trail was very short leading straight to the canyon wall. The Petroglyphs are supposedly at least 800 years old. We are unsure of their origin but popular beliefs are either for astronomical events, labeling trails for mitigation purposes or for certain ceremonies. I personally thought someone had drawn a ship on the canyon wall but I'm not sure what the other drawings were supposed to be.

After checking out the local art, we went back to the parking lot to find the trailhead for Willow Spring Loop across the street. This one was also well labeled as we embarked on our next trail. Willow Spring was easy to follow and relatively flat. It loops back around to the first parking lot crossing over to the other side of the road before continuing. Unfortunately, we came across a world famous Sharp-Shinned Hawk and of course, couldn't move, breath or even think until the Parents located it. It wasn't life-changing. After our rather boring hawk sighting we proceeded on what we thought was the trail but found ourselves on the Lost Creek Discovery Children's trail instead. This trail wandered around for a bit but ended up putting us back at the first parking lot. From there, we walked the short jaunt back on the road to the car.

After our long trek, we were all a little hungry especially Winston. We decided to go across the highway to our favorite dog friendly restaurant Lazy Dog. We all ordered some refreshing drinks, the cheese curds for an app (absolute requirement) and Winston munched down some Chicken and rice - his fav. It was apparently his lucky day because he got a doggy box since we are members of the Pepper Club. In his doggy box, Winston received some fancy treats and a squeaky Coyote toy. After lunch, we all got back in the car, dirty and smelly, ready to go home before we all took a nap. Winston of course only napped for a short duration before he was back at it with the chomps! He always does enjoy a good hike but he enjoys a good nap more. 

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