december, week one

30/30/30, version 2.0

dec 1st: 30 minutes of runnin’. got done with orientation a little early so I hustled home, threw on the running gear and headed to Lake Pueblo State Park, an 11 minute drive from the house. I had the whole damn Park to myself. After a quick ½ mile of flat trail I dropped into one of the canyon trails and soon enough was down by the lake. I spotted the high/steep point that Andrew and I had seen the day before, and sprinted toward it, scrambling the last 100 feet or so to the top. Most trails in this area (that I’ve seen so far) contain at least a few quick, steep inclines around 100 to 200 feet long. Definitely different than the FoCo trails. I trudged to the highest point in the park and enjoyed the sun setting behind the Sangres, casting a pink glow on Pikes 50 miles to the north. Good first day.

dec 2nd, 3rd and 4th: 30 minutes of runnin’ each day. Decided to explore what the new neighborhood had to offer. We’re a stones-throw from the mighty (well, I’m sure it’s mightier come spring and summer) Arkansas and the train yards, so I dropped down a steep little hill off our street to the river path below. Each of the three days I tried ascending back up a different route. I discovered that concrete river embankments are killer for hill repeats. Each evening I started with an easy jog, then scampered up the embankments (not sure it’s legal…), jogged back down, then repeated this about five or six times before ending the stroll with a few hill repeats back up into the neighborhood. A quick-and-dirty way to get some climbing in–and within a ¼ mile of the house.

dec 5th: topped-off my first week as a state employee with a 30 minute ride on Maria (the bike!). It’s been a while since I’ve actually pedaled for something other than commuting, but with the river path so close, I’m excited to do some exploring. The path (paved) is rarely busy and follows the river all the way to the Lake/Reservoir, about 9 miles west of town. Definitely looking to do a bike-trail run-bike combo in the near future. Great first week in the ‘Blo.

dec 6th (saturday): ditched town for the day and headed WSW to Pueblo Mtn Park. The drive itself was beautiful, and the park was quite…empty. I realize it’s December, but where is everyone? I drove around a bit to get a lay of the land—are they closed? Do I have to pay someone? Apparently the answer to both questions was ‘no’. The park has about four or five trails ranging in length from 1 to 2 miles long—nothing crazy—so I picked one and headed out. I was surprisingly short on breath and ended-up hiking at least ½ the outing. After reaching the top of the park—maybe 400 or 500’ above the entrance—I noticed that there was access to a trail that left the park heading west, and decided to scope it out. I entered San Isabel National Forest, a behemoth swath of land which includes something like 11 counties, and the Sawatch, Collegiate and Sangre mountain ranges. I bounded off onto the Squirrel Creek trail, and quickly gathered that it had been awhile (a few months at least…maybe more) since another human had tread on it. The trail was a bit…dodgy…and was pretty overgrown with brush and numerous fallen trees. This wasn’t the smooth red carpet trails I was used to up in FoCo, but I kinda liked it. Running was difficult because one had to stop/duck/weave frequently, but man—the silence. I saw a fair amount of animal scat (see pictures), and, mixed with the lack of (human) footprints and heavy silence, I realized I was the only human within 5…6? miles. Definitely a feeling I haven’t had in a while. My first thought after this realization (thanks to evolution) was fear,  but I figured I was well stocked with food/water and was being animal-cautious, so decided to keep moving. I kept an eye on the sun, and turned back well before sundown. In all, about 3 hours and about 8 miles. Not bad. I spent a lot of time stopping, taking in the view, the silence, and enjoying the day. Good recon for future adventures.

dec 7th: It’s been a week since my first Pueblo outing with Andrew, so I thought I’d head back to the Lake to explore a little more. This time I decided to take Maria out for a spell, and rode the River trail up to the dam. Round trip was about an hour and 15, maybe 17 or 18 miles total. It was 65 and sunny and once I got thru some of the walkers in town I was able to punch it a bit and even got to climb for a ½ mile or so. Great to get back on the bike, and in December no less.

in conclusion: In all an enjoyable week of exploring my new surroundings and beginning a consistent groove for the month. Glad I mixed it up with some close-to-the-house running, some dirt, a nice day trip and a couple rides. Feelin’ good.

pueblo mtn park

pueblo mtn park

into no-man's land

into no-man’s land

mtn lion scat

mtn lion scat

wild beast poo

wild beast poo

hiding mushroom

hiding mushroom

LPSP Reservoir dam(n)

LPSP Reservoir dam(n)

elk herd

elk herd

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