Lake Isabelle

Lake Isabelle

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday, 09/04/11 Green Mountain and Royal Arch

Green Mountain:  Up/Down 1st/2nd Access/Greenman from Chautauqua 4.33 miles/2,588 vert./1:06:55 (40:24 up) Garmin Data

Royal Arch 3.23 miles/1,494 vert./1:41 Garmin Data

What a perfect afternoon/evening, warm but not hot, cool but not cold, sunny, calm and starting to feel/see a hint of fall.  The trails were crazy crowded with people of all types as they usually are in September when the students are back, so there was quite a bit of crowd dodging lower down, but for some reason this all adds to the enjoyment on certain days.  This is becoming one of my favorite routes.  A nice smooth warmup, then steep and technical rocky trail with many switchbacks, to the back of the First Flatiron, them some very steep and technical off trail running, routefinding and then a quick finish on the Greenman Trail.  Though I have done this route many times, more and more I am getting every step dialed through the "off trail" section and hardly even have to think about where I am going anymore.  I like that this route is a bit more of a challenge than the usual routes.  I started the run fairly conservative, trying to determine if I was feeling the weekend of double baby carrying/pushing.  I felt it a little, but mostly, I felt light and springy not having two babies strapped to me and upped the pace as I went and it turned into a reasonably solid effort.  The descent was somewhat mellow, never really pushing, just cruising and enjoying.

After my run, I met Allison, Amelie, Isabelle and Sierra at Chautauqua where we sat in the soft grass watching a wedding while snacking on pretzels and formula before taking a hike up to Royal Arch.  We heard from numerous people descending of a bear(s) along the way, so we took our time, trying to catch a glimpse.  At one point, we could hear something heavy moving around in the bushes in the drainage below the trail, which we were sure was a bear, but were unable to get a good look.  It had been a while since I had been to Royal Arch and it involved a bit more climbing than I remember, but I was very happy with it, as it was a perfect day, I felt great (as it is so much easier carry "just" one baby) and was in no hurry to get home, since home was with me on the trail.  The girls got a lot of compliments as always and I continue to be impressed with how well they handle these outdoor adventures, as they rarely if ever fuss.  It gives me such great joy to watch them, as their big blue eyes dart around taking in their surroundings, completely absorbing the environment, making cute noises, reaching out to touch things, grabbing on to me....  I am convinced that they will soon come to love nature as much as we do, if they are not there already.