Awesome Grand Junction Hike for Those Sleepless Nights
Do you enjoy hiking the trails around Western Colorado? Do you ever suffer bouts of insomnia? Instead of staring at the ceiling or pacing around the living room, why not take a hike?
For the record, I am not encouraging anyone to hike late at night. Hiking, even on established trails, can be dangerous even under the best conditions. That, plus a number of other factors, can increase the danger level.
A couple of weeks ago I experienced a few nights of insomnia. By two o'clock in the morning it was obvious sleep wasn't going to happen. I'm a nighttime person anyway, but in this case, it was obviously going to be a sleepless night.
When my brain is in overdrive, there's only one thing to do - hike. A quaint little stroll around the neighborhood isn't going to cut it. Not only that, I live in a crummy neighborhood. Destination - Gunny Loop.
Before we go one step farther (pun intended)... again, I'm not encouraging or condoning hiking in the middle of the night. I am merely stating it happens. Weird things have been known to happen out in the boonies.
A little over thirty years ago my grandpa was up on Little Park Road on what is now called Gunny Loop. Back then it was just a dirt road. This was before the area became a staging area for the National Guard. My Grandpa approached what appeared to be an abandoned car about 500 or 600 feet from the trailhead. There was a dead guy inside. He had drank himself to death.
I hit the trail the other night at roughly 3:00 a.m. Not a soul was in sight. Armed with a flashlight, I made my way northeast out of the trailhead. Since I had nothing but time, it seemed wise to complete the entire loop. Yeah, every once in a while I had that strange feeling I was being watched. In this case, I'm pretty sure it was fuzzy little bunny rabbits watching me, not Jack the Ripper.
The nice thing about Gunny Loop - it's just a trail. There are no cliffs, ledges, creeks, caverns, etc. You're pretty much just walking a single track trail. Every once in a while you stumble over a rock. That's about it.
Gunny Loop is an excellent trail, well maintained, and free of any hazards. The trailhead is excellent, and the path is well marked and easy to follow. Estimated round trip = 1 hour
Again, a degree of caution is warranted. There are weirdos out there. Hikers have even been known to encounter wildlife. I grew up on Little Park Road, and in my lifetime, have seen only two mountain lions in the area. In both cases, I encountered them in the daytime.
Don't let a lack of sunshine dissuade you from enjoying a great hike. For that matter, don't let a lack of Zzzzz's prevent you from keeping your mind clear. Use your head, and a flashlight, and let your feet do the walking. Counting sheep gets boring. Hiking is never boring.