I feel lucky to have taken another little road trip this weekend down to Green Mountain Falls and Manitou. The weather was perfect for the drive. Met some friends at our favorite little GMF hole in the wall Pine Gables, which is now the Silver Tongued Devil, same bar with new owners and an outside patio. GREAT people watching, as usual, and conversation. Although, there was a band one member apparently from Lynyrd Skynyrd and one from Steppenwolf, but the verdict is still out on this one folks. One thing that I can tell you is that the band had a woman that was the lead singer on about a quarter of the songs and had hair the size of Texas and sort of reminded me of what Amy Winehouse may look like in about 20 years.
Woke up Saturday morning visited for just a bit and then Shamus was dropping me off at the trail. It was about 45 degrees to start and the wind was FIERCE and got more intense the higher I climbed. I started across from Waldo Canyon, which is roughly 6700 feet in elevation and did Barr Ute Trail/Longs Ranch Road, which according to the map was a cakewalk to find...apparently we need a new map. It took me a bit of time and with the help of a nice mountain biker I was on my way. Barr Ute Trail is an old service/forest road that skirts along the front of Mount Manitou and climbs roughly 2000 feet in about 3 miles ending by going through an experimental forest. For the most part it was dry with a handful of sections where snow crossed over the road. This section I got in some good power hiking, as I rounded a couple of corners and almost laughed aloud because they were so steep. On from there, I hooked with Bob's Road which then connects to Barr Trail. Up until I connected with Barr trail I hadn't seen ANY people, except the really nice fellow on the bike who steered me in the right direction. Once on Barr trail, it was amazing to see how many people were out on the trail and the brats behaved which made me proud and relieved. It reminded me that we are so spoiled and lucky to live in the stellar place that we do and rarely see people when we are out. From here, I followed Barr trail to Barr camp which is at 10,200 feet and jetted off (well not really jetted at this point, but spurred maybe) on the Elk Park trail 100 yards up the way from the camp. I wasn't able to do the entire length up to the Pikes Peak Highway, but probably climbed another 1000 feet before I turned back and got some amazing views of the north face of Pikes Peak. Down I went, in record time, for me, back the same way that I came up to meet Shamus at the gate. There was still a fair bit of snow in shady spots and once I got higher, but I fear the fire danger for the Front Range this summer may be quite high as it's already VERY dry. No flowers, but definitely green buds and signs of life just on the verge of bursting. As I started this run, I felt just a bit off, but kept telling myself that it was just the small tossy/turny amount of sleep I'd had the night before, no coffee and maybe a stuffy nose from allergens in the spring air. I finished feeling as though my head just wasn't there with me for most of the duration of the run. It was in no way a bad run just an odd feeling. Weird!
Hopped in the car and went into the Springs for a coffee, maybe the best I have ever tasted...at least it seemed that way. Then a couple of quick errands and we ended back a friend's house in Manitou. We finished the evening chatting with our friend on his deck, just up the way from the Cog Railroad, drinking a glass of wine and looking at that RAD full moon.
Pretty stellar weekend, I must say...
Song of the day - The Living End ~ What's on Your Radio?
Another stellar band from Oz. So, what IS on your radio???