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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two Girls on a Joy-Run

Monday morning dawned spectacularly perfect - bluebird skies and pleasantly warm temperatures.  I picked up Tammy and we headed over to Manitou, destination: Barr Camp.  In an effort to gain some altitude right quick and in a hurry and avoid some of the crowds on the lower switchbacks, we headed up the Incline.  Along the way, we ran into a gentleman, Jerome, whom I have seen the past four times I have been up the Incline.  I don't know the man, at all, other than seeing him  here - he's a very jolly sort of fellow and seems to LOVE the Incline (I think more than us!) - it appears to be his Happy Place.  It has been fun to see his familiar, beaming face the past few climbs.
Ooey, gooey, sweaty - one mile down, 4.5 to go.  
Even though it was early and it wasn't too hot, we were dripping!  The high altitude sun is strong and this initial effort is fairly intense.
After hopping on the half mile connector trail, we joined up with Barr Trail.  It was a nice four mile climb, from here, to Barr Camp.  I really enjoyed this section because it is a realistically runnable grade for mere mortals like me.  There were a few steep pitches that we elected to hike but for the most part, we ran.

Again, I LOVED this 4 mile section of trail.  I wish my photos could do justice to the scenery.  I will try to do better next time.  It is such a beautifully magnificent yet peaceful setting - awesome.
We stopped for refueling and visited briefly with the friendly folks at Barr Camp.  Barr Camp has various forms of overnight accomodations available, albeit rustic.  There are campsites to pitch a tent, lean-to type structures (equipped with mattresses - bring your own sleeping bag!), bunkhouse, and separate cabin (again, pack your own sleeping bag!).  Could be a fun weekend outing, were it not that I would have to carry my own bed (sleeping bag) up!!!  :-)  

One of the local residents begging for a handout.
More local residents getting busy with their carbo load.
A quick look at the creek before we headed back down.

Tammy took the lead on the descent, and lead she did.  Holy cow, the girl is fast and fearless on the descent!  I tend to be a more cautious (and somewhat LAZY) descender - I like to coast - and she made me WORK.  HARD.  I LOVED it!  Thanks, Tammy, for busting on me - it was all good!  :-)  She flew down the mountain for about 3.5 miles and then eased up on me and we coasted the last few miles to the end, thank goodness!

We splashed around in the creek a few minutes, near the end, and if I would have had a change of clothes, would have gone for the leg ice bath immersion.  But, since we were  NEEDING to make a public appearance by partaking of a post-run mate' tea, I opted  to avoid the drowned rat look.  We ended with a visit to The Mate' Factor for a peach mate' - YUM!!!

For me, it most certainly was a joy-run.  A picture perfect day, a magnificent setting, wonderful trail, and good company - it can't get too much better.  We ended up with around 11 miles and about 3600 feet of climbing.  A good day, indeed.
Happy trails to everyone this week!
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