If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Calm before the Storm?

We had contemplated a new route again today, however, it was up the canyon above the Section 16 area where we ran last Saturday. This would most certainly involve snow and some ice, and some cool air settled in the canyon. OR, we could head to Cheyenne Mountain State Park where the temperature was already registering 62 degrees at 10 am. Hmmm...
... After the last few runs being quite cold, we opted for WARM!!! We started on the Sundance trail and climbed up to the Talons. We climbed Talon proper and then did the North Talon/South Talon loops at the top. Pictured is the massive cairn that marks the top of North Talon and prepares you for an awesome reward for the 3.5 miles of climbing you just did - almost 2.5 continuous miles of downhill! We were expecting a lot of mud, especially on the higher and more western areas, however it was mostly dry with just a few lingering snow/mud patches. Sweet!
Preparing for the descent off of North Talon back into the trees. It is odd as you run out of the trees nearing North Talon's summit, you are almost on a "moonscape" - barren talus field for about 1/4 mile - then you dive back down into the forest. South Talon offers some fantastic rollers, in and out of dense forest, and has a very nice and damp pine-needle cushion to run on - awesome for some fast descending!
Kathleen emerges back into the sunlight as we rejoin the Sundance trail. Another climb, and then some nice, smooth descent through the prairie dog colony at the base of the park.
We were not ready to wrap things up, so we climbed the start of the Blackmer loop, headed for the junction with Boulder run. Here Steve negotiates some of the rock steps on Blackmer.
We had never descended the Boulder Run trail, so we were having a blast with that. Here I caught Kathleen "flying" down the trail! It was so sweet to be out in short sleeves in December, however, we came home to find this on our weather forecast:

... Oh well, we maximized an awesome "winter" day and we are thankful for every day we have to run on any of our wonderful trails in Colorado - warm or cold! Depending on what the storm brings, we might just have to dust off the snowshoes! (And running in snowshoes is some HARD WORK!!!) It was great to get out and run today - we got in about 12 miles and felt really good afterwards. Good Times!

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