Back in Fort Collins, we shake off the holiday sloth and torpor for an outing to Mount McConnel. It’s one of those hikes that always makes you work a little harder than you expect. The summit is cold but bathed in a golden afternoon light today.
Finding a spot to pitch a tent for the night isn’t so easy in the Poudre Canyon in the winter. The many state campgrounds along the river are closed and gated. A few small forest roads are invariably signed, NO CAMPING. We feel fortunate to find some primitive sites a little way up the Pingree Park road. Despite being joined by some late-night revelers nearby, we spend a pleasant and not-too-cold night out under a young moon.