Monday, March 7, 2011

Horsetooth Circumnavigation?

Looks like the FCTR boyz and girlz are planning a neat little event coming up in a few weekend, over at Alex's site. Hope to be there if the schedule allows.

Coincidentally, I ended up there Friday afternoon when J had a work meeting, giving me about 3 hours. I had read about the previous weekend's 18-mile circumnavigation (something I've done on bike but never foot), as well as Rob's Foothills route, so I winged the mileage without much thought and dropped myself off at Spring Canyon while J headed to her meeting. I stuck to the foothills trail for the most part, but overshot to the top of the hogback at Reservoir Ridge (forgetting where the last trail down to the road over to Lory was), doubled back, and then took the Valley Trails into HTMP. The advantage here is having a functioning water pump at Lory and then Soderberg.

The run was very enjoyable but I was slow, especially on some of the horse clomp on much of the valley trails. I had a backpack full with a jacket, hat, and gloves, waiting for the impending snow squalls that were promised, but mostly enjoyed a partly cloudy day that was 10 or more degrees warmer than expected. By the time I got out onto the road, J's meeting was done and we had some dinner plans, so I had to meet her back up on the hill rather than finish the run. So I have still failed to circumnavigate, and I'm guessing (via mapmyrun) I was at 21 miles with a couple to go. Oh well.

Most Beautiful Place I've Ever Seen
But here's the best part of the story: just over half an hour into the run, in an area I've been through hundreds(?) of times if you include bike and car, I was on the reservoir side of the road, when a male voice asked, "Can you take our picture?"

My first reaction was of slight annoyance, because I was farther up the hill than them, and I hate myself for it, because it was the split second before I had a chance to think about it, and I don't like the fact that I had the negative thought first, when I certainly appreciate the small favor when folks do it for me. It was a minor inconvenience, and I realized that on a weekday they likely hadn't seen other folks go past as much as on a weekend. And, as I slowed down, they said, "We're from out of town."

"Where are you from?"
"Omaha, Nebraska."
"Pretty nice view, isn't it?"

"Oh, yes! It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!"

Although I try not to take these things for granted, this was an important reminder. Here I (we) get to run in some of the most beautiful (let alone safe) places in the world, and sometimes I'm tempted to dismiss them as routine.

They handed me a disposable camera, which I had to remember to 'wind' between successive shots.

I pointed to Horsetooth Rock and told them about the park and views up there.
"Yeah, his....his baby mama lives here now, she was telling us about some place up here." (I love the frank but extraneous detail in that statement).

They thanked me and vowed to head up towards Horsetooth.

Though I initially loathed myself for the negative reaction and for having taken certain things for granted, I loved the world a bit more after that, and I'm glad that they did, too.


  1. Great story. I constantly remind myself of the need for appreciation. Thankfully it's not too difficult.

    I watch what I say when I'm on ski lifts. Some days, just to be honest, the snow can be lousy, but to someone who never skis or visits CO, it may be the best day of their life. I don't want to rain on their parade and it also gives me an opportunity to appreciate what I have.

    Of course sometimes it's OK to ride up with ski patrol and commiserate openly about lousy wind-packed crust. lol (or talk about how great it was a week ago)

  2. Yes, skiing is the ultimate for that!

  3. Glad you got some time to enjoy the old stomping grounds. It's been almost exhausting just reading about your travels and adventures this Winter. Hopefully see you on the 19th.

  4. Yes Mike, we hope you make it up for the run on the 19th. Of course you'll have to run the full loop up to the top of both rocks and get the 6000+ feet of climbing.

  5. I have to remember, just because somebody makes up a route, doesn't mean it's a good idea -- I especially think the Greyrock 6-pack is going to fall into that category!

  6. I'm with you on the Greyrock 6-pack. That doesn't sound like any fun at all. The Reservoir Loop however is a great run and a staple of my training. I'm going to run the 23 mile valley loop that I posted the map of leaving my house at 8:30. I hope you can make it.

  7. Well ... Omaha doesn't look like that ;-)

    Biked up there, this weekend.

    From an aesthetic POV, the term "doesn't suck" did come to mind ;-)