Distance: 23.6 miles
Weather: Sunny and Cool
Another early morning weekend long run with Steve G and Chris A. Starting at 6 a.m., we ran together up Upper Bear Creek Road. Chris turned around at about the six mile mark to get a start on weekend plans. Steve and I continued on to the gate at the Mt. Evans State Wildlife Management Area at the 9-mile mark. We parted ways at about the 11-mile mark where I headed up Yankee Creek Road, a narrow, hilly and windy road that heads southwest, to get in a few more miles.
I climbed a couple of miles on Yankee Creek and then took a left up Willow Creek Road and ran to where it ends at a gorgeous looking piece of private property. I returned then to Yankee Creek and ran it to it's end at another hunk of private property - Indian Creek Park Ranch. Looking at these ranches on Google Earth makes me even more want to explore this area. Wish I knew the families that own that ground.
On the return down Yankee Creek, I ran out of water. I was only carrying a handheld today. I just couldn't deal with another cold morning carrying my leaky North Face hydration pack (it leaks at the place where the tube and bite valve meet). Luckily, there's one place on Upper Bear where one might be able to get water. The well-known Tallgrass Spa. Undoubtedly, the women that work there like nothing more than having dirty, sweaty runners pop in for water. To my surprise and great pleasure, they were welcoming and hospitable. In just a few minutes I was out of there with a water bottle full of cucumber water. Can't beat that.
I finished the run by picking up the pace down Upper Bear, sipping fancy cucumber water the whole way. I won't run with anything less ever again. Might be time for a massage, as well. It's been two years.
2,077 feet of elevation gain. Average HR - 141. Average pace 9:12.