Saturday, January 31, 2009

Summer in January

The CRUD long run today was supposedly the last day of January but could just as easily have been an early summer day. We enjoyed low 40s at the start and upper 50s by the end of the run. Of course there was still snow in places, but that tends to happen at 9400 feet (the high point of today's run) even in summer.

Today's route started in Manitou Springs at approx 6300. From there we headed up Williams Canyon which is probably my favorite canyon around here (unfortunately it is "off limits" currently due to an ill advised shooting range that sometimes makes you feel like you are running through Detroit at night). Cave of the Winds is on one side of the canyon, and you can easily spot many smaller caves pretty much anywhere you look on the limestone cliffs.

The top of the canyon pops out on Rampart Range Road, and we then headed uphill for another 6 miles. From RRR, there are great views of Pikes Peak to the southwest and the Garden of the Gods to the east.

Even CRUD dogs are sporting their team colors.

After 6 miles of gradual uphill, we reached the Overlook (sorry, no photos; my hands were frozen up there). An initially crazy steep descent finally leads to a beautiful single track through meadows with more views of the Peak.

We then dropped down into Waldo Canyon, crossed Highway 24 and then headed back to Manitou via the Ute Pass Trail.

Still a bit of snow in the shady parts of Ute Pass.

Total distance on the run was about 19.5 miles, with 6800 feet of gain/loss. 3:20 total time running.

1 comment:

Steve Bremner said...

There is more to the story.... Rick Hessek and I turned off the "Overlook Trail" onto a trail to the town of Cascade adding about three miles onto the run. We caught up to Paul Smith and Keith G. Rick took me on a tour of abandoned homeless camps... might come in handy if the depression gets worse...