And this time, no tears! ~ Tobias Fünke
Sun 18 Mar: 4:30, 25ish miles, Marshall Mesa/Bluestem/Shanahan/Mesa
As volcanoes in Iceland spew liquid hot magma into the stratosphere, grounding air travel over most of Western Europe, we are experiencing our own warming trend – loosening winter’s grip on the Front Range and producing a significantly less caustic liquidity. Spring has sprung in the Denver Metro Area and with the consistent warmer temps comes the goodness of improved trail conditions and glorious morning runs. Got out on there again this Sunday for some serious fun in the sun and felt pretty great, actually. Probably had a lot more to do with the forced taper than any fitness gains over the past week but it was good to just put it in cruise mode and glide for several hours.
My reserves started running out about 4 hours in so the last 1/2 hour was a little rough but all in all it was a great run. Started out with a short warm up on Big Bluestem then transferred over to lower Marshal Mesa and back to Bluestem. We then headed west to Mesa and north to Shanahan. At this point, we were hoping to rendezvous with some water we had stashed but an overly-concerned homeowner had gotten suspicious and called the Fire Department to come dispose of the suspicious material. Apparently, he watches way too much Fox News or something. So we headed back up to Mesa, then made our way to Chautauqua to get our hydration on.
It seemed as if everyone and their dog (literally) was out on Sunday so by the time I left Chautauqua and headed south on Mesa, the trails had become quite crowded. Mesa Trail is always pretty packed on weekends so I jammed up McClintock, intersected with Mesa and then continued on to Shanahan where I called it good and bee-lined it back to the Big Bluestem Trailhead for a solid 4.5 hours total. Power hiked a couple of sections but felt generally okay on the way back. Good fun on a Sunday morning.