That's because I'm a hermit, and because I can only keep up when he's got at least 20-50 miles on his legs.
It was damned windy again on Monday; the saving grace was there was not a cloud in the sky. Having gotten blasted on the top of Buffalo Mountain on Saturday, I was hesitant to summit anything, but what the heck. We discussed it briefly and decided on Mount Silverheels, a high 13er at 13,822 feet. It's visible for miles around in the Fairplay/South Park area.
Silverheels later in the afternoon from US 285
The only downside to the day is my camera lens jammed, and I only got off a couple of snapshots of the run :\ GZ offered use of his camera, and I took a couple of shots on the top which you can see in his post (I think maybe I took a couple of those?), but frankly I was too busy running to worry much.
You see, he seems to want to run without stopping. That's crazy!
I had to commemorate the one time I got ahead of George that day. Dude's a machine:
Once you get near treeline, Silverheels gets more interesting than just dirt roads. For example, there's a grove of bristlecone pines where I'll have to come back and photo-linger some time.
Then above that, the terrain opens up into high grass meadows covering the next 2,000 feet. It's amazingly open and sculptural up there, and reminds of my tiny home hill Green Mountain in Lakewood, only it's harder to breathe :) There's a prodigious amount of red dirt, contrasting with the green of grass and flowers, which you don't notice from a distance, but was very striking in the sharp, brilliant sun of high elevations. Many different colors of rock covered the slopes, suggestive of the history of mining.
We got to the top, passing some folks with a playful retriever and a very mellow wolf hybrid (that loping gait may trigger a personal adrenaline drip if you've seen many nature films about wolves pack hunting).
After some mugging for photos and a brief rest, we started the descent, Hoka vs. Altra. I was doing OK, but it was clear GZ was more relaxed in the Hokas and their cloud-like soles. The Altras did great, but I was definitely more careful. Shoes aside, occasionally I'd spot a knife of rock sticking straight up out of the tundra near by, and be glad I'd missed it. Yikes. But the running down was generally fun, over soft dirt and grass.
The forest roads were... meh... after being tired from hauling my bones up to 13,800 feet, and after two prior days of running up high. But we got some miles in, and had a rewarding day out.
At least as enjoyable was relaxing on the Zack family deck later in the sunshine, sampling his home brew (reminiscent of Wynkoop Silverback, sans spices) out of my Boulder 100 commemorative gift mug (which I'll have to use in a beer review some time) and just talking and chilling.
Later I stopped on Kenosha Pass as I had never set foot on that part of the CO Trail.
Mount Bierstadt (left) and Evans from the trail:
I walked for a few minutes then got back in the car and drove over for some BBQ (smoked chicken, collard greens, baked beans, cornbread) before heading home.
The run distance for Silverheels was 13.69 miles from the trailhead parking lot, time 4:28 (moving 3:37), elevation gain/loss 3,684 feet. Elevation was between 10,318 and 13,822 feet.
Weekend total: 38.28 miles, 8,629 feet of climbing, all above 9,700 feet -- a fine start to the unofficial summer season.