Awoke to thick cloud cover and damp, gray skies early this morning, so we were not in a huge hurry to be motivated to run. Add to that Versus tempting us to watch the formalities of the finishing day of the Tour De France on the Champs-Elysees in Paris and, by the time we laced up to hit the trail, the clouds were almost burned off and it got hot quickly.
We started out with a great view from our neighborhood of some of the remaining clouds lifting from Blodgett Peak, at least temporarily...
We headed over to our "backyard" trail system, Ute Valley Park, for some good dirt miles. Although I tested it briefly on Saturday, this was my first "real" run in two weeks following a bad ankle sprain. Ute would be a good test, too, as it is quite technical in spots. On the initial climb to the outer rim, we had a nice view of Pikes Peak - bare today but it snowed up there yesterday!
We have had the most consistent rainfall this spring and summer that we have had in a decade. It shows everywhere that we run. Ute Valley Park is a rugged, natural park and, by this time in the summer, is usually brown and oh so dry. Not this year - waist-high grasses abound and everything that can hold water is green. Nice! For the first time in years, the little Forest Service bear signs have the "Fire Danger" pointer on "LOW" - what a relief.
...And the clouds are returning. The build up that usually starts after noon could not wait. Good thing we got out when we did! This is the view from the top of the park looking out to the foothills and the southern end of the Air Force Academy.
I have never seen a deer with his mouth this full. I was close enough to hear him chewing and he had a HUGE salad buffet going! Another park "user" thankful for the abundant moisture this year.
Did I mention it was good to be back on the trail? I was able to get in 8 miles and Kathleen did an extra loop to notch 10.5, so it was a nice day on the trails! Hope everyone gets out to enjoy the summer scenery while it is here - Happy Trails!
Shoes - Saucony Progrid Xodus