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

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Weekend's Here ... But Snow's a Comin'

We have done a little jabbering, well okay, let's just say it - WHINING - about the cold.  And it has been cold and it did start early this year.  However, we have been pretty darn dry since early December - good for trails, bad for our prospects of not having the entire state catch fire this summer.  So while we were not happy to have a snow "episode" forecast, we have to bite our tongue because we want trails available to run on this summer!  We were supposed to have one last nice day Saturday before weather arrived.  So we cruised over to Red Rock Canyon hoping to get in some good dirt before the flakes started to fly.  
 
We had a mixture of clouds with a few minutes here and there of the sun poking out.  As you can in the photos, there was not much snow to be found out on the trails.  Kathleen is on the climb of the Red Rock Canyon Path, with a little bit of Pikes Peak showing far off.  We were glad we stayed close to home as the legs were a bit "gray" this weekend, just like the weather!  Maybe it was the 15 & 14 on the weekend last week or a little S.A.D. settling in but they were just plain flat this weekend.
  
The old road across to the quarry area was one of the few places we found mud.
  
Steve catching some rays on the Contemplative Trail.  Looks like a good spot to run and think, eh?
  
The clouds were continuously repositioning themselves - sometimes you could see the Peak, and others just a cloud as in the center of this photo.
  
Temps started to drop during the second half of the run so we were glad that we did not trust the forecast and stayed with a good clothing base.  Climbing up the Roundup Trail, there was a nice outline of Garden of the Gods on the horizon behind Kathleen.
  
Stopping for a group mug shot before dropping down into the canyon on Roundup.  We did find snow and ice in the bottom of the canyon, but not too much.  The park was quite busy today - seems nobody wanted to be out in the snow Sunday ... OR maybe there was a little sporting event taking place ...
  
Nice view down the back canyon.
  
Up on the northern side of the park, peering across the valley to the Garden of the Gods.
  
One last break in the clouds and a nice view of Pikes!
  
Ready to be done and get warm!  While I would love to say it was like The Sound of Music on top of the hill here, it would be a lie.  It was just one of those weekends when the mojo was a no-show.  It is kind of nice when both of us time that weekend together - especially on a crappy weather weekend!  We got in almost 11 miles and it was plenty.   And - no cold soak after this one (or the rest of winter for that matter) - I tried it a couple weeks ago and sat around the house in a down parka trying to warm up!!!  Kathleen got a good laugh though...

Shoes - K Asics 2150 Trail
S - Brooks Cascadia


ARRIVAL
  
The flakes started on queue Sunday morning - gray skies and light snow to start.  While not eager to go hog wild (as mentioned earlier) we at least wanted to make up for a few of the millions who were already parked in front of the pre-pre-pre-pre-game shows with the case of Dorito's, vat of queso dip, and beverages of choice!  We started out by heading up to the Foothills trail bordering Pike National Forest right above our neighborhood.  Snow was just starting to outline the trails and cover up any line of sight to the mountains.  These conditions do provide a unique canvas to highlight a runner's colorful attire on a gray day!
  
Doubletrack below Pikeview Quarry.  There's another couple thousand feet to that mountain (and great opportunity for hill climb practice) - where'd it go?!?!?
  
While we were not supremely motivated to be out running in cold and snow, we did have the trails to ourselves - peaceful and very quiet when the snow is falling!  We also had a good laugh at my expense - Shortly before this photo I hit a well disguised ice flow and immediately hit the deck, butt first!   We really don't have enough snow to have much ice laying around, so it was totally unexpected.  So I'll be sportin' the softball sized heinous bruise on the butt cheek for a while now!
  
Foothills Trail heading up into the national forest.
  
Kathleen cruising through the bare aspen and cottonwood trees.  We actually did not mind being out - got in about 7.5 and called it a day.  Kept some blood moving through the legs on an "off" weekend and that's always a plus.  Snowed off and on through today (Tuesday - I know, we're waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind) but didn't amount to a ton of snow.  We got 8 or 9 inches at our house, so trails are trashed for a while.  Been sitting around with the Prozac drip surfing cheap flights to the desert southwest or the Cali-coast - wanna get away?  Happy Trails - frosty, snow-covered ones that is!

Shoes - K Asics 2150 Trail
S - La Sportiva Wildcat

13 comments:

Ace said...

Man, another cool place I need to go try running in. Whats the elevation gain like for the Red Rock run you did?

p.s. How do you like your Cascadias? I was thinking about trying a pair...

HappyTrails said...

Ace - Red Rock is a great place to run. Pretty compact but a lot of trails. The run we did was ~1800' gain. I have a love/hate relationship with Cascadia - that is the old version 2 - I just happened to find a pair at a shop in PA. The new ones don't work for me.

Julie said...

Woo hoo!! Happy Trails has a new post packed with awesome pictures!! Red Rock Canyon looks so beautiful and when I see these pictures I do get jealous of where you get to run. It is so different from Minnesota and I think probably a little bit more challenging because of all of the dirt trails. I bet trail running really helps to build endurance and is a great tool for conditioning. I love your, "Mojo was no show!" I might have to steal that one from you:) You guys look cute as ever....thanks for sharing!! I hope that you have a fantastic week!!

Danni said...

Awesome photos. I'm worried about fire season too -- here in NW Montana our snow pack is pathetic! (Not that I'm some expert. . . just my impression).

T Z said...

Steve, you should know your fans get panicky when you're past due with your weekly posts. I was worried that you guys were buried in 8 foot snowdrifts, that you had given up running, or that you had succombed to a cooking channel marathon.

Impressive that you got another double in even with slightly shorter miles. It's mid-Feb--spring should bve here soon.

Maureen said...

Crazy...absolutely crazy snow. I want to see pics like here in Jerz where it's going to be almost 4 feet with our two storms!

Slomohusky said...

Well, getting away to the SW or Cali Coast will just get ya rain, and lots of it. However, it will be warmer unless you ask my wife. She is feezing right now with our 50's. Ever been to the Oregon coast? I think they have had less rain than further south.

We need you folks to have snow though. Your runoff in the Spring fills Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam.

Watch the ice skating in running shoes. That sounds like smarts.

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

It's fun seeing places I've been in the background of your running photos, like Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.

Jill said...

Ok, you and I live in the same state, not even that far from one another, and I run like bike trails to downtown Denver sucking in gas fumes from passing cars. You're out there in vast open spaces with scenery galore breathing healthy, clean air. Yeah, I need a trip down South here soon! And I guess we can count our blessings we aren't out East right now with that monster snow storm, but truly, I'm sick of this cold and snow and I'm ready for it to go away. btw, I did register for the HGTV house giveaway and I think they owe it to me for the most watched of their "stuff" in a 2-day period. Just saying... in case you were thinking you may win it. :)

HappyTrails said...

Julie - Thank you for the nice compliments - we indeed are very blessed to live such a wonderful area but I have seen pics from MN - you guys have your share of beauty, too!

Danni - your snow pack doesn't look pathetic but I know what you mean when you say you need more. Realistically, we need tons more but I don't like it!!!

TZ - No worries about the cooking channel marathon - we can't cook!!!

Maureen - You poor girl! 4 feet of snow is just plain wrong!

Slomo - Water thief!!! Just teasing! Actually the Oregon coast is appealing to us. So many places we want to see, so little vacation time! (and money!)

Tina - You will just have to come back for a visit and we'll give you the up-close running tour.

Jill - You and Tara can come down some time and we will give you a trail tour! We already have first dibs on the HGTV Dream Home. It was "stolen" from us in 2007 (Winter Park, our favorite mountain area!) and we won't allow any more thievery!!! LOL!

Kathleen

Average A said...

Stunning!!!! Garden of the Gods looks/sounds breathtaking -- I'm a bit jealous right now. Are you loving your Cascadias? I've been running in them lately, albeit Minnesota in winter is a big different than your conditions... :) Thank you for sharing your running life and keep up all the great work you're doing!! So beautiful. We are all so blessed with this gift of running! xoxo

Meg said...

I always wondering if you two see a lot of runners when you're out on the trails or do you seldom see anyone? I was thinking about Jill's comment and it made me realize that Colorado has it's diversity in terrain and areas just like us...minus the massive amounts of people! Happy running, Kathleen, you are just a cruiser and the running skirt store totally reminded me of you :) !

Tara said...

Hi guys! I am very behind on blog reading and am trying to catch up on all of my favorite blogs.

I love your pics with the Garden of the Gods in the background. They are so beautiful; I need to get back there!

More snow for us tomorrow! I hope you all had a great trail run this weekend. Mine was over slushy snow and muddy trails. Eeek!

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