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

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Best Laid Plans....

...Sometimes don't pan out PERFECTLY, but close enough!!!

We had been "scheming" all week about catching the forecast warmer temperatures and sunny skies in Pueblo today for our long run.  The bonus is that there has been no snow laying on their trails, meaning DRY trails was the word for the day.  As usual, the weatherman mis-led us.  You think we would learn, but alas, the lure of dry, sinowy trails fog the senses and allow us to believe "this time" could be the day he is accurate.  However, the trails were dry and the south shore of the reservoir has QUITE NICE trails, so we took off on our run under gray skies with a brisk wind.

We also made a new route today, as our last couple runs at Pueblo Reservoir have been basically the same route.  There are certainly more miles of trail here than our long run capacity, so try some new stuff, right?  We figure just the main clover-leaf of 3 loops to be about 30 miles, not including all the intertwined freeride mountain biking trails on the east side.  We headed out on Rodeo Ridge and then dropped down The Duke, which Kathleen is running above - we like all the Cholla cactus.  We ran into our first of several groups of mountain bikers on The Duke, as they all fell for the same weather report!
Out on the eastern loop, it was quite cold as the wind was whipping straight up off the lake and blowing in our face.  "We are on dry trails, we are on dry trails... and they are great trails!"  Repeat as often as necessary to tolerate said wind chill!!  We passed a huge group of bikes near the marina and then dropped onto the South Shore trail.  Kathleen waited as I dropped in - winding ribbons of singletrack trails - beautiful!  Now some people may think the desert scenery is, well, not scenic.  To an extent, it is not.  But these are some of the best built trails in our section of Colorado, hands-down.  Yes it is a bit of a bleak and colorless landscape, but when you develop a taste for the desert, it grows on you.  This area is much like the Fruita area on the western slope of Colorado - home to more extremely well built desert singletrack.
Kathleen nearing the summit of South Shore, getting ready to connect over to Pedro's Point.
We headed out to the VooDoo Loop, which we have not previously explored past the very first overlook.  There are two ways to loop the beginning, but today only one was available - the closest option had a minor issue - it is under water.  After the summer usage surge, the reservoir actually rises in winter, even before the snow melts in the mountains.  So we followed another group of riders out onto the loop to do a little snooping around.  We had a nice view of the backside of Pikes Peak (center) from the first overlook.
Here is the trail along the eastern side of the main inlet that VooDoo heads out to.  The wind was howling out on the point but we were determined to at least see the start of the BIG loop before heading in for the day.  Once you make the detour around and get to the main loop, the map shows an additional 8 or 9 miles on VooDoo - more to explore on future visits - woohoo.  Also a good spot to expand the reaches of our distance running...
Start of the loop - fuel time and a quick group photo, then start the trip back to the trailhead. 
Back on top, overlooking the trails we had just navigated.  At bottom center, you can faintly see the trail coming out of the inlet - this is the usual crossing, but not today.
Kathleen cruising under some dark skies.  It was starting to get a wee bit colder, but we were enjoying the run too much to notice!
Making the turn and heading off the VooDoo loop. 
Kathleen making tracks on the Waterfall Trail.  These little canyons we dropped in and out of provided welcome respite from the howling wind.  Nice!
Bottom of Waterfall and headed for the climb out Cuatro Cinco - warm clothes and food await...aaaah!  We ran just under 16 miles - great desert 25k I guess.  It was a great run and we were already planning some further explorations.  We also learned that a new loop west of VooDoo is in the possible draft stages - awesome news.   It is supposed to be cold, gray, and windy tomorrow - if so, may not be any new pics.  The Colorado State Tourism board forbids us from posting cloudy pictures on consecutive days  :)   Happy Trails!

Shoes- K Asics 2150 Trail
S - LaSportiva Wildcat

 This Just In ... Sunny (but not warm) Sunday Update!

It ended up being sunny, so we have clearance from the tower (or at least Colorado's Tourism folks!!) to post a few quick pix.  While it was QUITE BRISK, we got out for a recovery trail run at Ute Valley with sun and 25 to 35 mph north wind ... BRRRRRR! 
Nice view of the snow-capped Peak.
While it appears we stopped for a group photo, we were "actually" huddling against the warm sandstone arch for some HEAT!!!  6.5 miles and then got out of the wind.  Happy Trails and have a great week!
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