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

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Something Old.... Some things New

Great day at the Garden
Sunny skies and INCREDIBLE views!
Kathleen cruising the Dakota Trail

Saturday we hit the trail early at Garden of the Gods.  Weatherman was bringing in 90 degree temps to our area for the long weekend, so no holiday weekend sleep in....  Since most of our runs suffer from sun exposure, and the Garden is no exception, we had to beat the heat (and the crowds!)  Plus, after seeing a nice sized prairie rattler on the trail last Sunday on my run, we did not want to increase the likelihood of reptilian encounter.  It got hot pretty early, however, and the snakes were in hiding!
Steve dwarfed by the Siamese Twins Arch
A little video to survey the landscape 
(Kathleen had stage fright - no commentary...)
Kathleen coming onto Niobrara Trail
Steve almost to the top of Ute Trail

We were able to get in a fantastic run at the Garden.  We are very fortunate that we still have a fair amount of green on the landscape - usually we are a pretty dull shade of brown by this time of year!  Kathleen clipped her run off at 9 miles, due to some IT/hip issues left over from a couple of LONG technical descents on our vacation runs.  I stayed on for an extra frontside loop and was able to do 12.5 miles.  All in all, it was a great  day for the trails!

Shoes - K Saucony Guide TR
S Pearl Izumi SyncroFuel XC

Bear Creek Lake Park

Sunday, with some spare holiday time, we made a little trip up to Morrison (suburban Denver) to run trails at Bear Creek Lake Park.  There are several new races being held there in October and we wanted to snoop around the area.  We had been reading a bit about it on Laura's blog as she is prepping for the 50k.  As Denver is generally hotter than we are, we headed out with the sun just on the horizon this morning for the 1 hour trip north. 
Kathleen rounding Turtle Pond

The plan was to run the half marathon course, just to see what the area was like, and of course, to get some new trails in!  Most of the course was singletrack or doubletrack, with very good footing and not much in the way of technical snares.  The first half winds in and out of the trees along Bear Creek and Turkey Creek, with lots of different birds and thousands of grasshoppers.
Looming on the horizon ... Mt Carbon
Bear Creek Lake from top of Mt Carbon Loop
(notice the green swath along Bear Creek leading down to the lake)
Denver Skyline over Steve's shoulder

We climbed up and over Mt Carbon and headed down the back side toward the golf course.  There are some nice views of  suburban Denver in all directions and one thing is evident - they need some dang rain.  IT.IS.BROWN.  Wow - we did not realize how much we have benefited from our rains in the Springs. 
Another one...?

On the backside of the course, there are three stream crossings.  I thought maybe these would be 5 to 6 strides and you are over at this time of year.  Negative.  These are full on sloshers, as seen in the photo above.  You stride out of these and have water oozing from your shoes and socks for quite some time!  We both wore Drymax in anticipation and happy to report that we have no blisters from running the next 6 or 7 miles with wet shoes.
Kathleen finishing the last climb strong!

We made our way around the last part of the course, which was far less scenic, and it was getting blazing hot out there.  We were glad to roll back in to the trailhead and start the cool down and also glad we started early.  We were able to run 13 miles - Kathleen finished a little gimpy with the hip/IT  issue - but was encouraged to be able to complete the loop.   This is a very nice course, for sure, and will be quite fast for the front runners in the various race distances.  PLUS, we had a great time discovering yet another new trail area.   We followed up the run by meeting up with Jill (and one of her boys) at Wahoo's for fish tacos - NICE!

Shoes - Both Asics Trabuco

Meanwhile, back a few weeks...
Still thinking about our trip to Snowmass/Aspen area a few weeks back.  Lots of good times there and a lot of time spent on the trails.  If only one could afford to live there.....  Just one cool thing we didn't get to post from one of the runs we did on Rim Trail:
Steve & Kathleen on the Rim Trail
Poem carved in stone on Rim Trail

Up on the Rim Trail, near the Yin/Yang Circle that we visited last year, there is this monument with a poem carved in stone.  It was hard to read in the overhead sun - here is the inscription:
Quietly the spirit and beauty of the mountains
fill my heart
I open to the awe
and sense of discovery.
I feel free and alive and at peace.
Nearby I hear God saying
Do you want to play?"
Stark King 1945-1996

Of course our answer was, "Why, yes, thank you!"
Related Posts with Thumbnails