Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Into the Rockies

Two delays, one minor and one major, caused me to completely rethink my travel plans. The drive west started a week later than planned and with a very heavy heart.

The summer plans had already taken a hard turn when I decided not to crew for the two man/beast team Flying By Cyclasana in their bid to set a record in RAAM. It turns out that I made the best decision, for both them and myself. I am hopeful that all of us reach our goals this summer.

Slowed by having to make several stops along the way, I was extremely relieved to savor an Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout in Denver's Great Divide Brewery. As usual, I enjoyed great conversation between sips.

The next morning I did something I've wanted to do for since I started taking my sons and other runners to the Jim Ryan Running Camp at CSU in Fort Collins. I ran on the CSU track. Given that I was extremely tight after the long drive and that the track is almost a mile high, I had a respectable run. Another twist on the runner's high developed as this flatlander's lungs searched in vain for oxygen when the effort increased. The most notable effects are the narrowing of vision and numbness in the arms. Big fun!

A bike ride in the Fort Collins/Loveland area completed the training for the day and freed me to enter Rocky Mountain National Park again. I've been there several times, but my exploration is still in an early phase. The visit involved a short hike near Sprague Lake and a drive across the park on Trail Ridge Road. The drive was paused for photo ops and a short, exhilarating, and harrowing bike ride along the 12,000-ft high windswept section between Lava Cliffs and the Alpine Visitors Center. Lunch was a bit complicated and icy. There are some crazy winds in the high country!

Here are some of the sights so far.

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