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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Some Sun, Some Clouds - Harbinger of Fall???

Sunny and cool at Ute Valley Park

Kathleen hits the trail before the sun.

Saturday dawned sunny and clear, with a crisp 49 degree starting temp for a nice trail run at Ute Valley Park. We had to hit the dirt early so Kathleen could put in a half day at work (blah!) and we always get the most of our morning runs at UVP. We have been biting our tongue on uttering the two words we dread - early fall, yet we have certainly been having some cool mornings and the air has a different snap to it. We like fall - it is, in fact, one of the best seasons in Colorado. We just don't want an early winter.
Sun was welcome this morning as Kathleen emerges from the trees.
Running the ridge with Pikes Peak bathing in morning sun - that sight never gets old!
There were some folks out marking the trails for Komen Walk for the Cure and they were kind enough to snap a photo for us near our favorite arch.
Lose the sleeves and enjoy the sun!
Heading out of the park on the still shady side - UVP is a gem and we love having it so close to home! 8.5 early miles with nearly 1500' of climb.

Shoes K- La Sportiva Wildcat
S- Asics Trabuco

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WARNING: IF YOU LIVE WHERE IT IS BLAZING HOT, YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO SEE WHAT IS NEXT. . .

Something is missing ... Pikes Peak should be on the left-hand skyline in the photo!

Fog, drizzle, wind, and 54 fantastic degrees greeted us Sunday morning. Interesting, because just over the Rockies on the western slope of Colorado, the day topped 96 degrees in Fruita. Welcome to the mountains!!! We had been planning a long run at Spruce Mountain Open Space and figured we would just go ahead with that regardless of weather. We headed out from Spruce Meadows trailhead and up onto Spruce Mountain. It's August and we had lightweight wool on - wrong . . .
Kathleen slaloms through the pines on the ascent of Spruce Mtn.
Steve rounding the bend through the rocks, almost to the top.
Group photo-op on Windy Point - aptly named today!! It felt like we were overlooking the ocean on a foggy day, being pelted by the moist wind. Almost had us wishing for a run in Carmel or Monterey . . .
Looking out toward Greenland Open Space from Windy Point.
It still was not raining when we finished Spruce, so we headed over to Greenland for a little extra mileage. This is the view of Greenland's "population center" from the exit of Spruce Meadows trailhead!
View from Greenland looking toward Spruce Mountain.

I love hearing the trains sound off when the fog and low clouds are overhead. They were very busy today hustling coal down to Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
Kathleen prepares to make the left hand turn onto the singletrack Greenland Trail. To the north (toward Denver), it was bright and the clouds were breaking a bit.
On the descent back toward Greenland trailhead - ready for some Starbucks?
After finishing our run, we had to wait for another train in order to get back to where we parked. Here are some of the bison grazing at Endless Frontier Ranch. There is a bison to human population imbalance in Greenland!!!
Looking south on our way out, it was getting really socked in on the mountains.

It warmed up to a balmy 55 degrees by the time we finished! We were able to run a little over 15 miles in just over two hours. It is a bit more mellow on climbing here also - 1750' gain for the run. All in all, a couple nice runs for the weekend and we are blessed to be healthy and running well. Happy Trails to all this week!

Shoes - Asics Trabuco

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Something a bit different - art on Happy Trails???


We had the unique opportunity to have a special guest last evening during our worship services at Woodmen Valley Chapel - we had an evening of dialogue with world-renowned "Nihonga" artist Makoto Fujimura regarding a reintroduction to the arts a message of hope and healing - something missing from the works of many, if not most, modern artists. It was an inspirational treat - if you enjoy different types of art, you might enjoy his.

5 comments:

Meg Runs said...

Kathleen, you always look so cute and put together when you run! It must be those skirts!

Loved the pictures of the grasslands and the train. Just gorgeous and yes, I was a little envious to see a cloudy sky since we went inland about forty minutes and hit 102 degree temps! Scorching.

Thanks for sharing the art, very interesting artist!

Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

All the talk about winter - I was afraid you stopped running and I really enjoy the running reports with pics of gorgeous CO.

But then I read your comment - that you keep running. Glad you brave the cold!

HappyTrails said...

Meg- Thanks for the kind words - I like to be "put together" when I am out - I fear that Stacy and Clinton from TLC's "What Not to Wear" might jump out of the bushes somewhere along the way and tear me apart!
LOL! Thanks for reading!
K

HappyTrails said...

Tina - Yep, we keep going through the winter; we actually have pretty nice winters (usually!). I tend to get cold easily so once winter arrives, I will be bundled up like an eskimo whether I'm inside or out!
Thank you for stopping by,
K :-)

Slomohusky said...

I think I want to climb inside my Frige now and pretend I am running in something near 49 degrees!

My last run this AM before a long 5 day pre-race break - 88 degrees at 4:00 AM. We also have some bad air right now. Smoke from the fires in L.A. are blowing directly into Vegas. It did make for a colorful/fantastic sunrise though.

Thanks for sharing. Interesting art as well. Keep kickin!

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