Was in the Springs to drop off my nephew at Colorado College after a long weekend visit up this way. Got in a late afternoon cruise up Rampart Range Road from the Garden of the Gods state park.
Distance: 11 miles
Weather: Clear and cool
After dropping WA off at Colorado College in Colorado Springs on Sunday, I headed west from campus and made my way to the Garden of the Gods state park and parked at the first parking lot I found, which was near the terminus of the 60-mile Rampart Range Road.
Since it already was 4 p.m., I knew my daylight time was, at best, fleeting, so I quickly suited up and set off running up the dirt Forest Service Road.
The plan was to do an out-and-back to get in some decent climbing and a solid tempo effort descent.
The road, which switchbacks moderately up through the foothills, was almost completely snow-free. I ran up about 5 miles to just past a radio tower. Here I saw a couple of orange marking tape pieces tied to some shrubs on the left side of the road. The tape marked the entrance to a sweet-looking bit of singletrack that snaked down, I believe, Williams Canyon. I think this was part of the Ponderous Posterior 50K course from the previous weekend.
I jogged down the trail about a quarter mile, wishing I had more daylight left to explore. It's funny the feeling I got as I started down the trail. Uplifted. Excited. There's just something about new trails...
But, darkness was threatening, so I ran back up to the road and headed back down. I set the legs on autopilot and ran the 5.5 miles down at a low-to-mid 6s pace. Felt good to run fast, particularly with the aid of gravity. Had to turn on the headlamp for the last half-mile or so.
I'm really eager to explore the trails down that way. Other than the Barr Trail, I haven't had the chance to experienced the Springs-area trail offerings.