Saturday, October 24, 2009

October 24th, 2009 - Elk Meadow Open Space

Run: Bergen Peak Summit
Time: 1:50
Distance: 11.5 miles
Effort: Hard
Body: Fair
Weather: Partly cloudy...chilly

Headed out from the house around 3:30 p.m. for a jaunt up to the 9,800-foot summit of Bergen Peak, the looming peak that rises above the grass-filled meadows of JeffCo's Elk Meadow Open Space.

I opted to run a different route than my usual today, running the upper loop clockwise, heading up the Bergen Peak trail to the one-mile summit trail. Saw a surprising number of folks on the trail today, especially given the relatively late hour and the growing chill in the air. The highlight was a pair of women hiking down from the summit expressing their awe at someone running up the trail. These types of comments are always appreciated. It's a welcome reminder that running up a mountain is something most people never consider. The lowlight was a guy near the summit chatting on his cell phone while smoking a cigarette. Not a welcome smell to someone that just ran six miles and 2,000 feet uphill. Smoking in the mountains is right up there with smoking at the beach. Hard to believe people still smoke. (By the way, after spending 10 days in Italy, it's clear that the Italians have not yet received the "smoking-is-bad-for-you" memo. The habit is ubiquitous.)

On the return, I came down the Too Long trail and took Meadow View and Sleepy S back home.

I was definitely feeling the lack of running these past 10-12 days. The last two miles today were hard...just wanted to be done. Still, it was good to be back at 7,800 feet and enjoying the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

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