Sunday, November 12, 2017

A milestone reached!

This weekend, my lifetime mileage reached the grand total of 74,716 miles - or just over three times around the earth's circumference! I haven't actually traveled around the earth's circumference, but my running has taken me on a marvelous journey.

From my early days of running (skinny, pre-momhood)
Me on the left, good friend Joyce on the right

To running with kids...
5-month old Devon & Bolder Boulder

3-year-old Paul & Kickoff Classic

...and dogs...
Loki at Lake of the Clouds

Jester ready to run in Boulder

Taz and snow RUN!

...and running buddies

The female gang - Anita, Connie, me & Randall (and Mister Taz)
...and cold

The fellas (AndyE & Joe) in the warm days...

A gang of family & friends for my 60th birthday 60k run

Not to mention amazing races ranging from...
USATF XC championships 2015
My first Boston 1991

Better than races, the sights and sounds of all of the places I've had the good fortune to run through.

Exotic locations
Australian garden trails

Alaskan bog trails
Hawaiian Kilauea lava trail

And mountain tops
Manitou Incline - Colorado
Appalachian Trail in Tennessee -
Smoky Mountain National Park
Black Mesa - Oklahoma's highest point

Coast to Coast
Oregon Coast Trail
Morris Island Lighthouse run with Randall - South Carolina

Loooong runs right through the middle of the U. S. of A.

And a run I never tire of - along Little Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan

Would any of this be possible without the man of my life, Mister Kendall?
I don't think so! I am one lucky woman with very happy feet!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Splendid Michigan Autumn

Our autumn trip took us to Michigan - and what a fine trip it was.

On the way to Michigan, we found a stretch of road we had never traveled before - and considering we've made the Colorado-Michigan road trip almost every year at least once a year since 1975, that's saying something! This road happens to be the Loess Hills National Scenic Highway in western Iowa - a lovely diversion from I80.

While in Michigan, we enjoyed a wide variety of activities, including a run on a trail I've been eyeing for a few years now. I learned about the North Central State Trail the year before I turned 62 - and it just happens to be a 62-mile-long trail. I had hoped to run the entire length during one of my visits back there, but never had a block of days when I could do that (figuring it would take two or three days). This trip, I decided I really wanted to check out that trail even if I didn't run the whole thing so I picked a lovely stretch that goes between Indian River and Topinabee along Mullett Lake - which offered up a thoroughly enjoyable run. 
I'm ready! What are you waiting for?!

After the run, we continued on to Mackinaw City and enjoyed a walk along the beach with the magnificent Mackinac Bridge in full view (accompanied by a Taz who was determined to herd every wave that made its way to shore).

Most of our other runs were in and around Petoskey - and they were mighty fine too!
The trail along Bear River - always a favorite
Yes, I'm a good dog

Coming back to the trail after a wave-herding romp near East Bay Harbor

Bay View Woods trail is calling one antsy Taz

Really? Another picture?!

And a plain ol' run along the waterfront ain't bad either!
The best run as far as Taz is concerned is when we find our way to a secluded stretch of waterfront where he can run and run and run. It takes about 30 minutes of laps back and forth at top speed before he slows down enough to come back to to me. Great entertainment!
One last chance to herd the waves before the car trip back to Boulder

Of course there was much non-running fun as well.

Applefest in Charlevoix (down the road from Petoskey) started off our northern Michigan vacation. For the return trip to Petoskey, we took the back way via the Ironton Ferry. I tell ya', there's fun at every turn Up North!

Being close to peak leaf peeping season, Connie D tooks us on a tour of some of her favorite autumn roads along with a hunt for historical sites - including a 200-300 year old "Crooked Tree." (Crooked trees were intentionally mis-shaped to use as navigational aids between what is now Mackinaw City and Grand Rapids).
The good weather called us to Petoskey State Park's trails that took me and Connie D up Mount Baldy for this glorious view

And, speaking of the State Park - it got downright balmy while we were in Petoskey and the beach beckoned! Kendall and I rendezvoused with some of my high school buddies for a relaxing afternoon jazzed up a bit with a very quick swim (the waves were great!) and a fruitless discussion with Connie D about why she should join me in the swimming adventure.

Jumping into the waves
Connie D pleading her case about not swimming today

No trip to Petoskey is complete without a trip to Bill's farm market. This photo was from our third trip - the day before starting back to Colorado. Had to stock up on some fine Michigan apples!

 Even a trip to the dump brings a smile - thanks to a variety of sculptures including Tire Man.

And while we were in Petoskey, we had the pleasure of watching our front yard tree turn a fiery red.

Of course, during the trip back to Boulder we couldn't just do a boring straight-through drive. Let's just say, if you ever happen to find yourself in Sac City, Iowa be sure to take a look at the world's largest popcorn ball!

All in all, a very fine trip indeed!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Trail Quest - State #32! - South Dakota!

In 2011 I ran the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon - a fantastic marathon on the northern 26.2 miles of a stellar trail. So, when I dreamt up this quest to run a trail in every state, the southern bit of the Mickelson Trail hopped to the top of the list for South Dakota. Last weekend I finally got to make it a reality!

Kendall, Taz, and I loaded up Hedwig and off to South Dakota we rolled. The first night out we camped in Lusk, Wyoming. If you ever need an RV park in Lusk, find your way to BJ's; there you will find the niftiest campground bathroom ever!

A picture from within the women's restroom/shower room at BJ's campground, Lusk WY
From Lusk, we headed to South Dakota and Custer State Park which was bustling with a buffalo roundup and an Arts Fair (in the same park, but not in the very same spot - that would have been interesting!).  After spending a chunk of the day at the Arts fair, we moved on to Hill City and a campground located right along the Mickelson Trail. The next morning, Taz and I were able to trot directly from our prime camp spot to the trail for a delightful autumn run with rustling golden leaves, wild turkeys, and a !yikes! a steady uphill 8 miles to a rendezvous with Kendall at the Crazy Horse Memorial.

From campground to trail

Taz smilin' on the fine Mickelson Rail Trail

Autumn makes for some beautiful running

Big rocks, small but mighty cattle dog

...just in case one needs a rest
Mister Taz still has some sprint left in him when he sees Kendall

Crazy Horse Memorial in the background; South Dakota trail in the books!