I didn't know the exact distance, and it looks pretty big from the shore,
(there's a thin dam on the far side, which makes it look like an ocean when it's really only 1.5 miles away) but worst case I figured I could run after dark on sidewalks. And I've gained a bit of confidence in my ability to bite off a little more than I used to and know I can do it. So off I went.
I should note at this point that I debated whether I should mention an instance of total obliviousness I exhibited during this particular outing, but it is what it is.
For now let's just say I missed something important before I left the parking lot.
About 1/3 of the perimeter of this route is on rural roads because the property adjacent to the lake is a off-limits eagle habitat (I'll have to check that out later). But it's not that busy and it's farm land, so for roads they're not bad. It's a bit like running the roads near Boulder Reservoir, but these are paved.
Sometimes the views were not too shabby:
At about the halfway point, I left the road and entered the park at an official entrance on the north side. A metal sign on the open gate said "Gate closed to car traffic at sunset" or something like that. Hmmm. That was a bit worrisome. I still had to run halfway around the lake, and my car was in a parking lot that may or may not have had a gate on it -- I didn't notice, because the Jefferson County parks I usually run at don't lock up at night, and I was in a hurry to start running. I sped up my pace a bit.
The twinkling lights on the other side seemed pretty far away. My car is over there somewhere:
I was getting kind of nervous at this point. Would a ranger beat me to my car and lock the gate? Would my car even be there?
When I got within sight of the lot, I could see my car. Good. And the gate was locked. Damn. There was no other way out, without dismantling the rather beefy log fences or cutting the chain. The sign was right there in the parking lot, but I was preoccupied and missed it. Duh.
Just FYI, Yellow Cab in Denver is 303-777-7777.
Distance 7.5 miles (so little?), moving time 1:07, moving pace 8:50, elevation gain/loss 468 feet.
My car was there in the morning, too, in good condition.