My waterproof shell was wet as I trudged up the canyon...due to sweat, mainly. On the upside, there were some nice wild raspberries along the trail. Come to think of it, that may be why a mama bear and cub crossed the trail behind me near here one time. Yummy berries. Or, bear-ies.
For the first 45 minutes I was wet, but the sun poked its head out of the clouds after that and things gradually improved. By the end of the run skies were blue.
I have to say the Homestead Trail is utter bliss. Pine forest, rocks, grass on the forest floor, etc. Beautiful forest. Then, for the first time I took the Red Mesa Loop, which I had never run before. It's a couple of miles on the back of the park, but well worth it. Again, nice forest singletrack.
On the way down, I startled a couple of ptarmigans. The larger bird walked across the trail in front of me, then flew about 15 feet up into a pine tree.
The smaller bird retreated off-trail to my left. I could hear them talking to each other. I imagine this conversation went something like:
- Hey, where are you?
- I'm over here. Some dude stopped near me and I don't know what to do.
- It's OK, just stay where you are, he'll go away.
- Are you sure?
- Yeah, he probably has a blog and wants to take photos of you.
- OK, I'll stay here.
- You still OK?
Blogger moves on.
I ran pretty much every trail in the park and ended up with about 12.5 miles. So, I filled my bottle again, stowed some gear, and headed uphill again for some more miles. I was pushing for at least 15. I did a loop up the "hiker only" trail and then down the canyon. I was somewhat energized, and made good progress uphill.
In spite of the clueless earbud chick with two dogs blocking the trail for me and another runner :\ I really despise ignorant people.
I made good time and somehow notched a 7th-fastest time on this loop. Strava certainly does not include every runner of merit, but I'll take it.
Distance was 15.43 miles, time 4:00 (moving 3:05), elevation gain/loss 2,745 feet, avg. pace 15:35 (moving 12:02), and best pace 7:30.
I need to do another post on drivers who tailgate, then pass their victim, then turn right in front of the person they were tailgating a minute ago and cause them to nearly stop while the moron makes a turn. I observed this on my way home. No punishment is too extreme for such morons. My response is to lean on my horn in protest, and some day I may get shot for it.
But that's for another day. Today was simply a good day on the trails.