|Time||2 hr 11 min|
|Elevation Gain||1,981 feet|
Our fall weather has been really good (as usual). However, we had some wind earlier this week that was messing with my running. So as it died down and we hit a high temp of 70 something yesterday, I was pumped for my weekly hike with Kim. She was excited too. We got up a bit late and hurried the kids out. I peeked outside but noticed there was some good cloud cover. We should be warm enough. Not. It was 30 degrees when we dropped the kids at school. Brrr. My blood is way too warm for this stuff. I don’t get my winter “run in the cold” blood until January. We considered bailing but it wasn’t that cold. The problem was our gear. Nobody brought gloves because we didn’t anticipate it being that cold…and we were running late. Luckily, REI opened in 20 minutes so we waited it out at Starbucks and then went for a gear run. Nothing like buying gear minutes before an outing! This week we planned on doing some discovery around Chautauqua in Boulder. There are tons of trails there that I read about on friend’s blogs and I never have been on them before. You could see the ice/snow up on the trees along the Flatirons. Winter is coming!
Kim got a few things at REI to keep her warm but as we started climbing up towards the 1st Flatiron, she started stripping it back off. Too hot! I am always in a hike for a destination. I had seen Royal Arch on the trail map for years. So we got to the junction for its trailhead and decided to make a stab at it. With our shopping trip, we were off to a late start and the kid’s school pickup does not allow for tardy hiking parents.
The trail was only about 1.1 miles up the arch but it was a lot of rocky steps. Kim’s knee doesn’t do well on those but she did better than in previous weeks. Getting stronger! The bad part was all the “black ice” on the rocks and tree roots. Each of us took our turn at walking and talking and suddenly slipping and nearly falling down. Oops! Ice on rocks sucks hard. Just minutes later, the arch revealed itself to us.
From within the arch looking back to the north, one of the majestic flatirons was there just relaxing in the light snowfall.
A little proof that it was cold and winter is around the bend!
My partner and I take a last photo and then we started down. We made quick work of the icy rocks and jogged some of the way back. While in stride, I was reflecting on how great it was to be out running with my wife and best friend. The weather wasn’t the best but we got out there and had a great time anyway. Our weekly outings have really been enjoyable.
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