I see lots of peaks and trails where I think "Hmm, I should run that some time".
After passing by the east Ben Tyler Trail trailhead on US 285 many times, I finally set foot on the trail for a run. The trailhead on US 285 west of Bailey, CO:
After wondering who the heck Ben Tyler is (or was) while running, I was happy to find this link on the socialists' playground DailKos, written by a descendent of Ben.
Great running on the first couple of miles:
I had minor pains throughout this run where the quad meets the knee, probably due to the mountain bike tour of Bear Creek Lake the day before, on which I cranked pretty hard. I had to stop often to loosen the muscles up with some impromptu deep tissue massage and stretching. I took it easy.
But there are a lot worse things than sitting on a log in the Colorado woods, on your Saturday morning.
Ben Tyler Creek was flowing nicely even in this dry year. I brought a filter along, and refilled my two bottles twice, enabling me to stay out much longer than I would have otherwise.
The pine forest section of the trail was great, with a combination of shaded and open trail. Then began a pretty but very long section through aspens. Although it was relentlessly rocky and tiresome, it would be spectacular in the fall.
Almost the entire north side of Ben Tyler Gulch is covered in aspen.
This is South Twin Cone Peak, which I decided to ascend once I got up there:
Interesting rocks on the summit:
The trip to the top was well worth it for the expanded view into South Park. There were also some mountain goats wandering around on top, which were too far away to really photograph.
Devilish willows. You think you're following the right path, then they close up and you're bushwhacking through a thicket.
Based on the presence of cow patties, cattle had apparently grazed up here, and paths were worn through the willows. I followed a few of them thinking they'd lead me through, but they'd dead end. Those cows didn't know what the hell they were doing.
Distance was 17.34 miles, time 6:47 (moving 4:11), elevation gain/loss 4,429 feet, avg. pace 23:32 (moving 14:30), and best pace 7:52.
Recovery meal care of Hog Heaven. I have to be honest, the place is on the fringe of "grungy" (as in: cheery but... with some wear and tear), and the meat is cooked early and reheated, but man, those ribs were good, and the sides are great (out of a dozen or so choices: greens, black-eyed peas, sweet potato fries). I could have eaten the ribs without sauce and enjoyed them. I can't stop going there.