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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Summer returns on Thanksgiving Day!

Just realized this is only the third post on this page in November - where has the time gone???  Of course for some, that may be reason to give thanks :)  In all seriousness, today we stop to be thankful for what we have in life.  For us, this is ongoing through the year, not just on this one day, and any attempt to make a list of what we give thanks for would fill the pages of many blogs.  For too many, it is just the holiday we have to "get through" to make it to Christmas - their loss in my opinion... 

On a smaller note, one of the endless list of things we are thankful for is the ability to get out and run fabulous trails within close proximity to home.  In lieu of the ubiquitous Turkey Trot, we opted to take full advantage of the unbelievable weather and go for a great trail run.  With sun and temps in the mid 50's before we even started, it was startling to think that it is almost the end of November.  We headed over this morning to Red Rock Canyon Open Space to get rolling.
 Early stop on Roundup trail for a HT group shot

We had the unique position this year to be footloose and fancy free for Thanksgiving day.  Last year we had the privilege to have Kathleen's sister and family out to visit from Oregon, and we normally spend it with my sister's family who lives here.  However, our niece is engaged and now there are "obligations" to the future in-laws for them.  So they had to travel north, leaving us to do as we would with our entire day!  So with fresh legs under us and no schedule, we decided to do a tough run by looping through Red Rock Canyon, linking to Section 16 via the Intemann Trail, rolling the S16 loop, then coming back through RRC.  So we were off...
 Kathleen on the Intemann Trail
 View from the Intemann link to Section 16

After climbing to the top rim in Red Rock, we connected over on the Intemann to Section 16 trail.  Here, the climbing really gets after it.  In 1.3 miles, you climb 1200 feet which leaves you somewhat breathless and tired, but it is worth it.  The reward is about 3.5 miles of flowing descent, steep at times, but manageable and FUN!  
 Almost to the top of the climb on Section 16

We were surprised once we got down the trail and dropped onto High Drive at the amount of ice already packed in for the season.  With no sun during the day, this will keep until late spring and made for a few spots of tricky footing.  Definitely not ready for traction aids with the kind of weather we've been enjoying.  No slips or falls, though, so that was all good and we popped out to Gold Camp Road and started the short climb back up into S16 to find our way over to Intemann again.
 Back up high on S16 - looking down at Red Rock Canyon sprawled out below
 Catching some good rays on S16 - awesome day!
 It does not get much better in November
 The old rock quarry - we're headed through that notch
 Close up on the Quarry Pass Trail

We dropped back down into RRC and decided to do a trail we have rarely been on.  Quarry Pass Trail climbs up and through the square notch in the rocks, then drops out on the other side and continue on through another hillside before joining the Mesa Trail.  The legs were tired from the hard climb and long descent, but we couldn't leave without enjoying a little more trail and soaking up a bit more of the rays!
Parting shot - looking down at the old reservoir from Quarry Pass Trail

We finished out with 11.5 miles and a cool 3000' of climbing, but with that terrain it seems you cover more ground.  Great day out there altogether and we finished with the mercury touching 67 degrees - how sweet is that???  Looking forward to some more good running in the next few days, so watch for a few more pics to show up this week.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Shoes - K Nike LunarFly Trail
S Nike Pegasus

BTW, Kathleen broke the cardinal rule of Thanksgiving day in the HT household and started listening to Christmas music already!  The shame....

If you also want to start early, check out Mac Powell's distinctive vocals with Third Day - one of our faves:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKX3eyYuJ9c
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