Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bobcat Alert...Lions and Tigers and ...bobcats oh my

Tuesday morning as I parked at the trail head for Blodgett Peak Open Space, I noticed an animal crossing the street and up onto the trail about 100 yards from me. When I first noticed it, I thought to myself..."self, there is something different about that animal". It did not look and move like a typical dog and was too big for a cat.

Fortunately, it stopped for a moment and turned its head my way and it became quite obvious that his was a bobcat. I got a good look and it looked me over too... I was not fast enough with the camera to get a pic before it turned and sauntered up the trail and into the trees.

It is always interesting here in Colorado. You never know what you may encounter. The newspaper has been carrying a story about an unknown sighting of what appeared to be a large cat (of the African Lion large) on the eastern plains a short time ago. There has been no confirmation of the sighting and a search has not turned up any clues as to what it might have been.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mud Babes need not apply

Saturday I decided to run somewhere different. As I complained about the other day, I have been feeling a bit bored by the same old runs. With the Wild West Relay and pace duties at Leadville looming in the near future, I decided to go up in altitude to get some higher altitude training.

I chose to go to Rampart Resevoir, site of the Pony Express Run in the fall. This is my report on the trail.

Getting up to trail head at an early hour was the hardest part of the run...the weather had cooled somewhat and the bed sure felt good. If it were not for mother nature giving me a wakeup call, I might have opted to snuggle a little deeper in the bed. Once up and getting the coffee (magic elixer) going, I decided I could probably do this. The temperature was good for a long run and the forcast was for moderate conditons....sorry Trail Nerds and Mud rain in sight.

It is an hour drive to the resevoir so I headed out with coffee and muffin in hand.

Thing were quiet at the trailhead, only 4 cars so plenty of parking (better than trying for parking at the Barr Trail trailhead!). I decided to wear the full pack with water in case I needed a lot to drink, and I wanted to test how it did on a long run before I used it at leadville.

The trail starts with a 1 1/2 mile downhill to the resevoir then at a small bridge, you can opt to go right or left. Going left is the harder direction. It will be almost 10 miles to the dam and this part contains most of the up/down hill terrain. I prefer getting the work over with early.

It is deceiving at the start as you can see the dam across the water and it really does not look all that far...and it isn't if you can swim....but the trail follows a bunch of fingers that add miles to the course. Don't believe your eyes even when the dam looks only a 1/2 mile have several miles to go.

As I ran along, I thought back on all the fun I had at the psycho-wyco and the freestate marathon and realized that all you Trail Nerds and Mud Babes would be totally devastated by the lack of the one thing that they groove on...MUD!!! But all is not lost, as I did find a small mud patch at about 6 miles that they could cavort in so that it can be consider a real run...

Reaching the dam at about 9.5 miles, you have about a 1/2 miles of pavement to cross then pick up the tail on the other side...the good thing is that you are 2/3 of the way done and the hard work is out of the way. The worse part of the return is the 1 1/2 mile uphill from the bridge to the trail head.

Anyone out there coming to Colorado Springs should check out my website at for trail and map information on this trail. I know it does not sound exciting to the Trail Nerd because of the lack of mud but maybe mid winter we can offer a foot or more of snow to make up for it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Boring...time for a change

Yesterday I decided that I have been stuck in a rut. Hiking and running the same trails everyday, so I decided to go somewhere different. Diane, Zeke and I went over to Red Rocks Park of Hwy 24 and did a short hike. The hike was limited because of the heat which had Zeke panting like a locomotive climbing Pikes Peak...

I took a lot of pictures of the area we hiked on and I can see why a lot of people wanted to preserve the area from development. There are great views and awesome rock formations. I would recommend it as a good hike for anyone. The trails we followed were easy to moderate in difficulty so that most people would be comfortable on them. I am sure that there are more difficult ones in the area which I will be making an effort to explore in the coming weeks and document on the Trails webpage (