Dodge is great, but come summer, sometimes you just want to get out of it.
Hence, I hopped on over to the BV area for a little jogging up Missouri Gulch. You may remember it from such all-time 14er hits as Belford/Oxford and Missouri Mountain. It may be my favorite CO valley for mountain running, and I've made multiple trips there. A beautiful place with lots of terrain variety and interest.
I was tired from a half-marathon workout Friday and an intense ride on Saturday, so frankly I didn't have much energy. And any more, I don't even try to run the first 8/10ths of a mile on this trail, which are steep. I start running above the aspens.
I had loose plans to run some 13ers on the other side of Elkhead Pass, but it's a long way and I haven't been able to find my water filter the last couple of weeks, which limits the length of my runs somewhat without risking intestinal disorders. So: late start, insufficient water.
Anyway, the approach to the pass is the route to Missouri, but you cut left at about 13,000 feet instead of heading up Missouri. The pass is typical open, fantastic alpine tundra, and was surprisingly runnable even though I was pretty wimpy.
Look at this; heck yeah, I'll run here!
I reached the pass. The two high points below were my putative goals for the day (Emerald and Iowa). Fat chance. Just the pass took me 2 hours, and it was probably another 2 1/2 to tackle both of those peaks and get back to this spot (it's hard to tell, but there's a steep drop into the valley).
I had already used one of my two bottles of water, and I'd probably need 6 or more to do the whole tour.
I may return via the valley on the other side of these peaks, because coming back up Elkhead would be a chore. I'd have to ford a stream, but I'll check conditions.
Run distance was 9.51 miles, time 3:40 (moving 2:31), elevation gain/loss 3,552 feet, avg. pace 23:10 (moving 15:57), and best pace 6:53.
Instead of driving down to Amica's in Salida, I hit the bar at Eddyline and they had the IPA on tap to go with my meatza with green chilies. They have a red chili porter which is interesting, I may get that some time.
And, I finally stopped at K's in BV. I don't eat much dessert, but that was good even though I had a sugar buzz for about 10 minutes. The ice cream tastes homemade, and I got it with the salty waxy chocolate covering. Mmmm. Summer (close enough).
Then I had to drive home through scenic Colorado. That sucks.