Monday, May 24, 2010

Bergen Peak Upper Loop - Moonlight Run

Time: 1:36
Distance: 9.45 miles
Effort: Easy
Body: Fair
Weather: Clear and Cool

A jam-packed day at work today, combined with an early evening baseball practice with jP, pushed the run into the post-dinner realm. So, with the gang fed and winding down, it was time for me to get wound up by doing another run up Bergen Peak.

I headed out the door around 8:10 p.m. with a headlamp in hand and ran up to Elk Meadow Open Space's upper parking lot and hopped on the Meadow View Trail bound for the upper loop, which consists of the Bergen Peak Trail and the Too Long Trail and loops back down to the lower parking lot via Meadow View and Painter's Pause.

This was basically the same run I did yesterday, with a variation at the beginning and minus the out-and-back one-mile summit trail.  And, there was one other major difference...I did over half the run, time-wise, in the dark.

I cruised up the Bergen Peak Trail at a steady pace, pausing in a couple of spots to take in the view of the still all-white Mt. Evans. I made it to the trail's high point before the darkness really set in and I had to turn on my headlamp, which I carried in my hand. Even with the moonlight providing some extra light (enough for me to cast a moon shadow a good chunk of the way down), the headlamp was a necessity. I made steady progress around the loop as I passed the turn-off for the summit trail and Bergen Peak Trail turned into Too Long.

The run down Too Long was a bit of a blur as I had to keep my focus confined to the 5-6-foot circle of light my headlamp provided. My fading batteries certainly were no help. Still, there was one moment, about half-way down, where I paused and took in the view of the moon-lit meadow below me and the distant lights of Denver flickering just over the ridges of the foothills.  Gorgeous.

Once off Too Long and back on Meadow View, i made my way out of the trees and into the meadow proper. Without the trees to block the moonlight, I could now run sans the headlamp. It was a great feeling running through the night, the trail illuminated only by the light of the near-full moon.   

Got home at about 20 minutes before 10 p.m., just in time for a quick shower and another few hours of work.

Still on the mend from the crud, but definitely and noticeably improving.  Another day or two and I should be back to 100 percent.  Finally...

Elevation gain: 1,831 feet.

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