Sunday, December 5, 2010

Late Afternoon Run: N.Table

After staying up til the wee hours of the morning being crafty and sewing some more Christmas presents, I overslept a touch (darn night shift schedule) and didn't get out for my run until late afternoon.

Due to the recent sightings of mountain lions throughout most of my favorite trails, I tried to pick one today that would give me at least a little more advanced notice if a cougar was salivating over my pace booty. North Table was chosen due to it's near treeless and relatively well-traveled trails as well as the plethora of deer grazing there (I want to allow the lions options other than,

seriously I think this is the lone tree on the hill

Similar to Green Mtn, the entire "mountain" is near bald but I enjoy the trails never-the-less and they are more vacant than Green Mtn which always seems to be like an ant hill crawling with bikers whenever I go. Not that I have any beef with bikers, I just wanted to focus on a steady non-interrupted run rather than having to stop every  quarter of a mile to allow a biker to go by.

I started out a little chilly (30's) at the old trailhead on the west side and headed up towards the fire road. I veered right (near the water (?) tank) and kept running right. This is a fun trail that is severe single track with beautiful grasses tickling your legs as you run by. About a half a mile down that trail I took a sharp left that turns into an instant hard hike and scramble up the side of the cliff's rocky side. Summiting onto the plateau of N. Table Mtn I ran right and then another right for a climb to the Coors plant overlook. The city of Golden is spread out below and it is a grand site, jaw-dropping if you've ever seen it at night.

Headed back down, saw my first herd of deer grazing, and continued right until the dead end of another cliff overlook. Backtracked to where I summited and continued straight until I looped right instead of taking the fire road back down to my left.

I kept on running until I came to Rim Rock Trail. I have never taken this trail before, so I headed out knowing it dead-ended in a mile. I was on a time limit today so I figured this would help limit my exuberance from being out on a gorgeous day.

Hit the end of the trail,

turned back around and headed back the way I came except took the fire road back down where it connected to my original trail at the trailhead. Almost 8 miles, no cougar sightings, and felt great!