Brothers Campfire New Experiences

Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!

There is a kettle on for coffee, tea, or chocolate. Help yourself, I think there is leftover pizza in the fridge. If you are here, you are family.

Now that you are settled in, stay awhile and I will spin you a tale.

0 Fahrenheit is uncommon in Colorado Springs and I do not believe it got any warmer than 15 F all day yesterday.

For all of my friends in Canada, I know, that is nothing. Steve from Steve’s Country has to warm the electric lines to charge his cell phone and store the fire in an insulated container so it does not freeze, but it was cold for me.

What Frozen Fire Looks Like

Colorado Springs and the surrounding area has a mild climate due to where it lays at the base of Pike’s Peak, so it is the temperature that surprised us more than anything else.

I layered up and went outside. First things first I broke the duck water and added more from a hose attached to the warm water inside.

I like my little bird friends and ensured the finches had some seeds as well. They seem to like our feeder.

There was an itch for adventure and Fountain Creek awaited a small distance off. It was time to use my snowshoes!

My good friend amd mentor, E. Diaz told me to bring trek poles. He speaks in a near whisper, but his advice is always loud and clear.

E. Diaz used to be a drill instructor for the US Army and has been deployed in some of the worst places on earth in his roles there. He has additional training afforded by the military so when the man suggests something, I give it my full attention.

For my gear selection, I try to wear wool and synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon in my layers. Anything cotton will freeze and make you miserable, but I can give you a few tips on that in another post if you want.

Your feet Will get wet. Wear wool socks.

And so I was off, in more ways than one. It was so quite out there but I wasn’t alone.

I love looking at tracks. They tell a story the creature wont tell with words. The pair of tracks below tell me there was hope for water but it wasn’t available. They end at a waterline. I surmise it flew off in search of another source.

These tracks look like airplanes!

In many years of living in this area, I have seldom seen a small stream completely frozen over. I was just as surprised as the bird!

Note the story the tracks tell

It was here that I discovered the wisdom of E. Diaz’s words. The ground had already been uneven and treacherous, but despite the front teeth that grip, my snowshoes were slick in the back on the ice. An ankle can get hurt rather quickly.

As I walked, I found some beautiful ice crystals. This was the highlight of my trip.

It was so peaceful out there. It was so quiet that I could hear the geese walking on the ice all the way across Fountain Creek.

I moved on down the trail and circled to the railroad tracks. I find the definite lines and the open fields just as beautiful as the woods. There are lessons to be learned in them.

This, is a harvester ant mound.

Inside are thousands of seed gathering ants. Most folks think of these girls as evil and kick the mound over to upset them, but I left it alone, reminded of scripture.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 6:6‭-‬8 KJV

These ladies are more intelligent than it would appear. They are not like the fire ant, looking for an excuse to bite, but gatherers. A harvester ant will walk further for a rare seed than a plentiful on right next to the nest.

I have not always looked so fondly on these creatures and have destroyed my share of mounds. Last year made a big difference.

On my first attempt to walk from Pueblo to Colorado Springs in one day, I became ill, probably from heat exhaustion. Removing my overloaded pack, I sat down and fell asleep. In my delerium, it was right next to a harvester ant mound and none of them attacked me.

I have resolved to leave them alone.

Now where was I? Oh yes, the trail. It was beautiful…. And cold.

I covered 6 miles and enjoyed every minute of it. I look forward to doing it again!

Author: Benjamin

Benjamin Thiel is a community leader, urban farmer, and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire. He might know a guy...

39 thoughts on “Brothers Campfire New Experiences

      1. Jaskiers says:

        You’re welcome !
        Well, I live in the northern part of France and it’s quite cold lately !

        1. Benjamin says:

          Brrr…. I am going on another walk today. 30 f. so quite a bit warmer … Oops… Around 0 celcius.

          1. Jaskiers says:

            Ahah yeah ! I was about to go check what 30 degree Fahrenheit was in Celsius until i read the end of you’r comment !
            Love you’r work men, keep the awesome articles coming !
            Sorry for my bad english.

  1. herbthiel says:

    6 miles in snowshoes is pretty good. Yes, E. Diaz doesn’t speak unless he knows what he is talking about and he only speaks once, so it’s usually in your best interest to pay attention when does speak.

  2. kagould17 says:

    Glad to see you are getting out and about in the cold. We are hopeful to get out of the deepfreeze here this week. I miss long walks outside. Stay well. Allan

  3. bullroarin says:

    Well that’s a pretty cold day and a pretty good hike even by Canadian standards. Last night we got about a foot of snow and the temp was about – 4 or 5. School was cancelled but I still had to plow the driveway. Right now I’m recovering from my morning ordeal and enjoying your tale. Glad you looked after the ducks…blessed my heart! ~ Dave (Bull)

    1. Benjamin says:

      Thanks for the kind words! I am currently hiking as we speak shooting for 10 today. Yep …. Gotta take care of the ducks!

  4. achme24gmailcom says:

    Epic event bro! That looks and sounds awesome. I need to go on a trek like that one day again.

  5. Dr Christa van Staden says:

    Beautiful photo’s, we lived in Kazakhstan for 18 months, and it gets to -38C in the town where we lived. I see the snow, but I miss it as well, but the extreme cold was not nice.

    1. Benjamin says:

      That sounds very cold. I would not miss that! Thanks for the compliment on the photos. I have been working hard on providing cool pics like those but it tales practice.

  6. windsofchange18 says:

    What a beautiful day for snowshoeing. And a peaceful morning. Temps have been a bit too much. My son is in Texas with his unit and this was a a man that has grew yo with changing seasons loves the winters snowboarding, hiking,. So temps being as hot as they get there has been a bit had to adjust. Then the cold hit there and he’s still wearing shorts loves the cold. Is buddies laugh and say he’s crazy—all in good humor.they know is definitely not a southener. You or so good to your ducks I love that. Well enjoy the snow showing and the hot coffee.

    1. Benjamin says:

      Thank you! I will have to wait until Monday tongo out again. I hope you and your son continue to thrive!

  7. stevescountry says:

    Well done Benjamin, sounds and looks like a great walk. It’s nice getting out in those warmer temps you have there. We’re finally out of our deep freeze, two weeks of temps in the -30s and -40sF was too much. On our coldest day we woke up to -53F, much too cold even for us northerners! Should hit about 8F today. Keep up that walking!

  8. Petra says:

    Awesome photos! Personally I love winter and I wish we’d get more snow where I live now

    1. Benjamin says:

      We are a little stingy about sharing it with other areas. It is usually so dry here!

      Thank you Petra, I look forward to the Erratic Hat podcast!


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