What a week. I ran and I ran some more. I carried a very heavy pack to the top of Lory State Park, camped with my family at a beautiful "backcountry" site overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir and Fort Collins, and then I ran from there. I ran after we got home, and then I got up early to run again today. Here are the numbers.
19 hours, 11 minutes
15,925 feet D+
In my week sixteen recap I set my goals for 220 miles and 36,000 feet D+ in weeks 17-19. I realized 231 miles and 44,347 feet of climbing. If my season ended here for some reason, I'd still feel satisfied. It's been a lot of work and a lot of fun getting here. I've never identified as a runner until a couple years ago and so I'm still rather geeked about having run 80 miles in a week for the first time.
This morning I got up before dawn to drive to Rocky Mountain National Park for more alpine running. From the Bear Lake trailhead I ran and hiked up to Granite Pass (12,080 feet), and then circled back via Storm Pass (10,257 feet) and the Glacier Creek Trail. I avoided bad weather, my legs and feet felt great, all in all a perfect day on the trail.
I'm liking Rocky's new timed entrance reservation policy. The park is less crowded and feels less crowded. The Bear Lake trailhead parking lot was less than half full when I arrived at 6:30 a.m. On my way up to Granite Pass, I saw one person. On my way down from Storm Pass, I went an hour without seeing any other humans. The few other people on the trail thought this was pretty cool, too.
Solitude is nice, but I also like seeing people on the trail discovering things about the environment and themselves. A pair of college friends from sea level finding their limits on the tundra below Longs Peak. A family from Denver carefully leading their young kids to their highest elevation ever. A dad and his teen son talking about doing more hikes like this during the summer season. The week after next, I will be backpacking in Rocky (what we Coloradoans call Rocky Mountain National Park) with my family and having similar experiences.
Ruth and I hiked to the summit of Longs Peak by the Keyhole in August of 2002. That's the "easy" route. In June, you need an ice axe, crampons, and good timing. In August, you only need good timing.