Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grays and Torreys

Laurel ran Grays and Torreys peaks (14ers) with her friends Maggie and Rebekah.

(Laurel) Some more detail: I decided I wanted to run a fourteener (or two) for my birthday. Yes, it's a crazy idea, but why shouldn't I combine two of my favorite things--summitting high mountains and trail running. Fortunately, I was able to recruit two friends. Rebekah is a two-time Boston Marathoner, but new to trail running. Maggie is a seasoned trail runner and we've run together a few times before.

We left southern Boulder at 6:30 and drove up to Idaho Springs. I maneuvered the XTerra adroitly up the 4-wheel drive road to the trailhead. We stepped on the trail at exactly 8:00 and started running. It was a gorgeous, bluebird day and there were only a couple of other parties on the trail. Unfortunately, Maggie was having some GI issues early on, so we split up (against my better judgement, but we put together an excellent plan that I felt comfortable with). Rebekah and I made for the summit. There was some snow covering the trail above 12,000ft, but it was very soft and easily runnable. We headed for Torreys Peak first, and hiked up the steep, rocky slopes. The summit was breath-taking (ha, ha!). It was calm, clear, and we could see for miles around.

After a few minutes, we headed over to Grays. Here, the wind was blowing straight at us and it had frozen the snow on the trail. We put on microspikes and easily hiked to the summit. However, this one was COLD and WINDY. We stayed for a minute or two and quickly began our descent. After about 15 minutes we got out of the wind and enjoyed the rest of the way down. Maggie was at the car sunning herself on a grassy patch reading a book. We wished we had brought a picnic, it was such a perfect day. Overall: 8 miles, 3600ft, 1:56 to Torreys, 3:56 overall.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sanitas with JJ

On Saturday JJ and I hiked up Mount Sanitas. It was his first time up this iconic Boulder peak. It was a great day, just a little haze in the plains. He did great on the steep sections!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

SoBo & Bear Take 2

After hiking Shadow Canyon up to South Boulder Peak and Bear last weekend, I decided to run it today It was very cloudy, but not raining at the trailhead. However, that changed the higher I got. In the canyon I was fairly protected from the rain. The dense trees kept the trail dry in spots and just damp in others. Once I got close to the summit of South Boulder, I could really feel the wind blowing and the rain was pelting me. Actually, when I looked more closely I noticed it was actually graupel that high up. After the quickest summit rest ever (I literally just turned around), I ran over to Bear. Again, the trail was fairly covered, but once I got out in the open is was awful. Nasty winds, rain, was awful. I quickly scrambled up the ridge and turned right back. On the way down the rain seemed to be picking up. The sour weather wasn't deterring any hikers, though. There were tons of people coming up Shadow and the lower trails. Surprisingly, many of them were in cotton sweatshirts and jeans. That makes for a soggy day! Stats: 2:47:28 overall--Mesa to Shadow and back.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hooter Lookers

For a few weeks each spring many people come to look at the owls that nest and roost in our neighborhood cottonwood tree.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

SoBo and Bear with JJ

Today JJ, his friend from work, and I hiked up Shadow Canyon to summit both South Boulder and Bear Peaks. It was a pretty good day--a bit overcast, but the clouds parted a bit when we were on both summits. There were tons of flowers blooming on the trail, but otherwise an uneventful outing.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Walker Ranch

Ran the loop at Walker Ranch.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Betasso Preserve

Hiked Betasso.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Colorado Springs

I love serving on this state committee. We get to meet in the coolest places. I spent the last two days in Colorado Springs, and boy did I have fun! (Ok, the work part was cool, too.) I drove down Tuesday after school and met Melanie for an evening run. We ran from her house down to Garden of the Gods, around some trails there, and then back. I love GoG! The rock formations are outstanding and I had no idea there were so many trails down there. I had a blast catching up with an old friend and running in her neck of the woods. Afterward we went out for dinner at yummy Marigold's. They have the best chocolate moose cake ever!

Wednesday morning I woke up and drove to Red Rocks Canyon Park and ran a couple of miles. Again, some of the neatest rock formations. The colors are so unique with the brilliant red sandstone. I quickly got ready for my meetings and then snuck out again in the evening, back for Red Rocks. That night one of my colleagues hosted us all for an awesome homecooked dinner.

Thursday morning I woke up early and drove to Manitou Springs. I parked at the base of the Barr Trail (what we ran up for the Pike's Peak Ascent) and found my way to the incline. This remnant from the mining era is a great hill workout for Springs residents. Essentially it's a mile long staircase that climbs 2,000'. That's an average grade of 41%. I made it up in just under 38 minutes and then cruised down the Barr Trail to the car. What an awesome work trip!