Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Flatirons Vista Trail, Boulder

With gloomy skies hovering over us and the forecast predicting storms, Cowboy and I threw together our packs (his MUCH heavier than mine) and headed out to the Flatirons Vista Trail in Boulder. I had hiked this just the day before with the pup and wanted to come back to explore it more in depth....i.e. run.

Cowboy is trying to make his hikes more of a workout by throwing all kinds of gear into his pack and adding on some crazy weight. I pulled it out of the car to hand to him, not realizing how full it was, and nearly plopped it promptly on the ground. Holy cow that thing is heavy, where as my pack is teeny tiny and I stuff only the minimal amount of crap into it. I have all the necessities I would need in an acute emergent event (hat, gloves, hand warmer, mylar foil blanket, foot care that can be also used as a mini first aid kit, a few extra food items, and the random tampon) and a small liter bladder, which I usually only fill half to 3/4 full. The rest is stuffed in my front pockets: SPF chapstick, GU packets and other on-the-go nutrition, and camera. Knife and cell usually get stashed in the front too for quick access.

I always carry another item "that shall not be named" but has to do with my despise for signs like this:

Speaking of which...I was about to take the pup on a run yesterday at a new trail just off Coalton Rd in Louisville. However, when I approached the trailhead not only did it say no to my item "that shall not be named", but it also said no dogs off leash. What the heck Boulder County?? Forget that, I'll go somewhere else. I am tempted to write them a letter and tell them exactly why I won't be using their newly built and money poured into trail. Not that it will have any impact, but I will at least feel better about it.

I digress.

Cowboy and I headed up Flatirons Vista trail in an odd patch of good weather. Sunny! All around us grey rainy clouds hung but we had yet again found our little bit o' sunshine. We snapped a picture or two then kissed and parted as Argos and I ran off. 

Look momma, a stick!

I ran down Flatirons Vista North and connected to Doudy Draw. I kept mis-calling it Doody Trail, so forever more it shall remain Doody Trail. From Doody I connected to Spring Brook Trail North.

 Looking back at Doody Trail

 Spring Brook North, it was just starting to sprinkle a bit here

I had originally planned on doing the entire loop onto SB South but came face to face with another "NO DOGS" sign. Yet, horses and bikers could be on it. I don't get it and it pisses me off. North trail required dogs to be on leashes...which I promptly disregarded. However once I got to the South part of the trail the sign irked me enough to not to push my luck any further. 

The "summons" part is what made me turn around. I've already paid $300 to Denver County for Argos' nuts, I didn't want to be paying to any more counties than I had to...

I found myself up on a dirt fire road on SB North heading towards Fowler trail but disliked the whole bumpy fire road feel under my feet and the copious signs along the road in red stating "don't do this, and don't do that, and everything except breathing is prohibited" that I turned my irritated self around and headed back down SBN trail. I passed Cowboy coming up from Doody onto SBN. We chatted then continued along our separate paths.  I ran down Doody Draw until it connected to Community Ditch (what a horrible trail name). 

Argos got a little creek time in and we returned our steps back along Doody Draw and up towards Flatirons Vista North/South Loop.

I hung a right onto Flatirons Vista South. It was really rocky and made me feel clumsy trying to run, however it started to snow! It was beautiful to see the shining sun and flakes sparkling as they fell. We came to a fenced pasture on our right where horses were grazing. They looked kind of wild but I couldn't think of why wild horses would be here. They were incredibly interested in Argos and came trotting up eagerly to meet him. 

I tried to pet them and they seemed spooked by me but they were all about the pup. At one point, Argos slipped his head in between the fence wires and licked one horse on the nose.

We carried on down the path until we came to the intersection of Flatirons Vista South and Prairie Vista. I turned around (the path was REALLY full of small little rocks) and made a quick right onto an unnamed path through the fields that would connect me back to the intersection of Doody and FV North. The path was fun and grassy, I cruised. At this point the skies started to darken rapidly and sleet began to fall. Sleet turned to snow, but this time the sun was hidden and the wind picked up.

I ran back down Doody a little ways to meet up with Cowboy and check to make sure he was doing alright. He was quite chipper and we chatted a bit before I started to feel my sweat cooling and the chill setting in. 

"I gotta keep running or else I will get way too cold out here" I said to Cowboy. I know I had another layer including hat and gloves but I was warm as long as I stayed moving fast. I headed up Doody and onto FVN towards the car. I only got about a quarter of a mile before looking down at my hands which were now wet and bright red. My extremities were COLD. I stopped immediately and had a little fine motor difficulty getting my gloves out of their dry bag and onto my hands but once they were on and my rain jacket zipped up, I immediately felt everything warming up as I continued the final bits of my run.

I curved left around the loop in front of the parking lot and then jogged up the other side of the loop back towards FVN. I saw Cowboy approaching at the top of the hill just as the snow stopped and sunshine broke in jagged streams across the field. I ran up the hill to him and we walked hand in hand back down the trail to the car. It was a great 12 mile day!