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!


JeffO said...

I like taking the same trail up, using the southern cliff.

Nice shot pointing north!

Dave Chan said...

Love the last pic with the pup shadow.

T. said...

Jeffo- the souther cliff? from Tony Grampsas or is it from another point? Let me know!

Dave- thanks! I was thinking to myself the other day, the GSD profile and shadow is pretty unmistakable. You see those bat ears and sloped back/tail and you KNOW it's a shepherd. I love it.
You've got a kick ass dog(s) yourself!!

mtnrunner2 said...

Yeah, like the dog/human shadows :)

Especially North Table is its own little world up there. The rocks look a bit like the Mars lander pics to me.

JeffO, I like that cliff band too. The one I'm thinking of, at least, is above this parking lot.

SuzRocks said...

So jealous that you get to go on trail runs. I'm so out of shape right now, that I'd barely be able to WALK that trail...

I didn't know you had a blog!! I saw your comment and then came here, and then was thinking...'hey, I wonder if this is thea' and lo and behold!

Maybe when I get back to Denver we can go trail run. (if I ever get back in decent enough shape..)