Updated: Mar 8, 2020
We made it to Fort Collins, Colorado, right around lunch time. The dogs and I were getting hungry and found ourselves in search of a picnic area. Just 5 miles from Interstate 25, we came upon Lee Martinez Community Park and it was exactly what we were looking for.
We had taken Cherry Street to Sherwood Street and followed that north to the Sherwood Street Parking Area. Lee Martinez Park had a dedicated picnic area as well as having numerous tables scattered around the grounds. We chose a table off by itself, near the softball fields. We sat in the sunshine, enjoying our good fortune that the weather was comfortable on a February afternoon.
Other dogs were enjoying their walks through the park as we ate. Joggers went by at regular intervals while other people came and went from the nearby playground and basketball courts. We watched the activity around us; it was a lovely afternoon to be outside. The girls were too distracted by all the action to eat much of their food.
After lunch was over and we had cleaned up our mess, it was time to see what else this park had to offer.
We were ready to take a stroll around the area. There were walking paths leading off in various directions. The dogs were much more interested in a fascinating collection of smells coming from the western side of the park. They insisted on leading the way over towards a large fence. Beyond it, horses were strutting around delighting in the afternoon sunshine.
Lee Martinez Park just happened to have a small petting zoo, much to the dogs' joy. The girls had found 'The Farm', which makes up the western section of this community park. Sadly, dogs were not allowed inside The Farm, so we had to enjoy it from outside the gates.
As we approached the fence the girls' excitement grew; they were captivated by the large animals on the other side. The horses were great, but something else was in the next pen. The dogs rushed over to the neighboring enclosure to find cows. The girls wanted nothing more than to watch these wonderful, enchanting creatures go about their day.
Normally the dogs would have gone nuts and let loose a barking frenzy rivaling any other, but this was different. There would be no harassing the livestock allowed today, and the girls caught on to that fact quickly. If they barked at the animals we would start to leave. If they wanted to stay and watch, they'd have to be quiet. In no time at all I had two very well-behaved girls on my hands.
The dogs were enthralled by the barnyard animals and were very content to hang out and watch them for a while. They had stumbled upon a hidden treasure in this Colorado community park.
After some time, the girls were ready to move on. We briefly explored some of the walking paths and meandered around the park grounds, but nothing was as alluring as The Farm. We had to stop back over there one last time to check on the cows and horses before the girls were willing to leave them behind.
The dogs took up the search for squirrels in the trees while the sun warmed their backs. It was a wonderful afternoon to be in the park.
We came upon a large playground where children were having a joyous day. However, Ursa did not appreciate their loud merriment and insisted we continue on.
Just beyond the playground, a paved walking path led off into the forest behind the park. Months ago we had stood at the exact intersection we were looking at now. At that time we were passing by on a stroll through Salyer Natural Area. Today, however, the girls weren't in the mood to head in that direction; the park itself was excitement enough.
We continued our walk, taking in all the new and interesting sights and smells. The dogs maintained their search for squirrels in the trees. We took our time wandering around the fairly large park. Eventually we made our way back in the direction of the parking lot and towards the car. This place had been nice, but it was time to move on. A last few sniffs around and we were on our way again.
We had enjoyed our entire afternoon at Lee Martinez Community Park. After a lovely picnic, watching the horses and cows at The Farm had been a pleasant surprise. This had turned out to be a delightful place to stop for lunch!