Monday, September 21, 2009

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

This morning, I had breakfast with a bunch of cyclists. A couple were taking a bike repair class next door (also next next is Rocky Mountain High Wheels), and several were motor cyclist that also rode bicycles.

The goal for this morning was to beat the storms. There's a big front moving through at the moment. Rain is expected in Colorado Springs with a high around 44. Pikes Peak is expecting 6-10" of snow! This has the potential to affect my plans over the next few days as highs aren't going to get above the mid-50s until Thursday.

Today's run was at Red Rock Canyon Open Space. This is a recent addition to the Colorado Springs Open Space system and sits directly south of the Garden of the Gods. There is a connector trail to the Intemann Trail which can take you to Bear Creek Canon, Stratton Open Space and Cheyene Canon. That makes close to 40 miles of trail only 1/4 mile from my hotel :-) Red Rock Canyon is a series of canyons the once was a quarry, was a landfill and almsot became a golf course (and more landfill). The some trails run up the canyon and others run from canyon to canyon. The park tops out at the connection to the Intemann Trail (around 6800ft) - the low point is at 6200ft.

It was cold this morning, but no rain. the Peak was shrouded in clouds and soon the near by mountains would become coulded as the first wave of the front moved in. After breakfast, I was on the trail by 8am (I guess the time shift helps in getting an early start on things). Running at 6k - 7k feet isn't that bad. I need to remember to keep well hydrated. This side of the mountains is very arid (cactus in the park) and hydration helps with the elevation.

I got in about 1:45 of running (with stops for photos taking) and most of it was running (about 9 miles) - very little walking - except uphill into the 20mph head winds. I ended the run a little early on account on sleet at the higher elevations. 

Here are some photos from this morning:

Looking north towards the Garden of the Gods

Pikes Peak is up there behind the clouds

Some of the red rock trail (I believe this is part of the Roundup Trail)

A view down one of the canyons

Quarry Pass

Snow is on the ground in Woodland Park, Leadville and Fricso. Aspen and Glenwwod Springs still look clear.

The rest of the day? Food shopping, a trip to REI for windproof gloves, Garden of the Gods, a swin in the indoor pool?

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