Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Time I Saw Big Foot

Ken loves it when I drag him out of bed at 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning to drive up to 9,200 feet and run for 12 miles.  He must really love me. Or, not want me to get eaten by a bear because then who would cook dinner and darn his socks?


Today we headed to the Sourdough Trail, which is about 45 minutes from home, near Ward, Colorado. This is a random trail I found online. I wanted to get in 11 miles today, so I picked a trail based on that distance.


We were the only ones at the trailhead.  Poor, lonely Ford Explorer (yes, I have not gotten a new car yet). Needs a sassy Dodge Charger to procreate with. That would result in an Explarger.


What I liked about this trail:

  • No one was there. We saw only four mountain bikers the whole time. No runners. Oh, and some people out picking mushrooms. Hope they make a good Chicken Cacciatore later and don’t poison themselves.
  • Cool temperatures. It’s nipply at 10,400 feet.
  • 1,800 feet of climbing, but it was pretty mellow. No especially tough climbs all at once.



  • Good high altitude training. I usually train about 5,000-6,000 feet, so this made me not breathe.

What I didn’t like:

  • Way too many rocks. I sprained and twisted my ankle 5,000 times. I did fall once, but did it gracefully and ended in that Table Top pose from yoga.  I don’t mind climbing, but I hate thousands of loose rocks and roots on the trial (and this was the less rocky section):


  • No views. I mean, here we are in the Colorado high-country and there were literally only 2 spots over the 12 mile run where you had a slight view.


  • Long drive.

We both decided we wouldn’t do this one again, but in my mind, no trail run is ever “bad.” There are just levels of how good it is.

This was supposed to be 11.2 miles, but I hid my long-sleeved shirt at mile one when I got hot. On the way down I couldn’t find it and ended up going a mile and a half extra before I found it. I think the mushroom people hid it. Stupid me. Have you ever done that?


It was so peaceful being out there today. We heard some elk bugling or maybe it was a child screaming.  I only got in trouble once when I was running in front of Ken and let a few silent but deadlies fly out. He reprimanded me, telling me I had to warn him. Geez, he’s so high maintenance.

There were some crazy obstacles on the trail. Hope there are no trees in the middle of the Denver Rock and Roll course.


Here I am trying to have some fun on the downhill, not rocky section and almost broke my neck. Note to self: if you want to video tape while running, where a helmet cam (but then I’d have to run with a helmet, which is actually not a bad idea).

All in all, it was 12.6 miles (including my hunt for the shirt) with over 1,800 feet of climbing. And, my knee didn’t hurt at all. Something about the trails is usually very kind to the body.


Look! I’m ready for 12 more!

On the way home driving down the canyon, we saw a black mama bear and her cub sitting on a rock above the road. All the years I’ve lived in Colorado, and I’ve never seen a bear in the wild. I’m just glad she wasn’t on the trail. She probably got scared off by my silent but deadlies. Ken should be grateful.


That’s baby bear at the top:


Do you ever overdress when you run? I try to remember to dress like it is 10 degrees warmer than it is, but I also hate being cold, so sometimes I have to strip down and hide stuff or do the dreaded wrap around the waist thing.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in the wild? Probably these bears. I once saw Big Foot and the Lochness Monster on a trail run (at the same time), but no one believes me.



  1. I live in So Cal so if I wear anything other than shorts and a tank I overheat and have to strip down. I have a really cute pair of Nike running tights with a matching fitting jacket that never get worn, but I refuse to get rid of

  2. I love that you posted about this trail, I tried to run it in the spring and it was too snowy still. I had forgotten about it but I will go run it tomorrow =)My hubby is thrilled (just like Ken)

  3. I live in a concrete jungle so there are very few, if any, trails to run on so I am just a wee bit envious. I run on paved bike paths along the water, which doesn't totally suck but once and a while some dirt would be nice. Despite living in a concrete jungle, I have seen several deer, some rabbits and a fox. Not all at once mind you.
    I usually have problems dressing myself as the seasons change. Summer in Toronto is always hot so it's a no brainer but once the seasons start to change then I usually make gross errors in judgement when it comes to clothing...usually in the direction of overdressing. If I was to leave my top somewhere, I guarantee you I'd see it some homeless dude within 15 minutes so I usually opt to do the horrid waist tie thing.

  4. I run "hot" ;-) But seriously...I have to remember that a tank and shorts if it's warmer than 45ºF is good for me. Maybe short sleeves and capris if down to 35 and/or windy. I'm glad the mama bear didn't feel threatened by you! The coolest thing I've seen in the wild on a run was probably the huge mangy rat I saw last April...but it wasn't exactly 'the wild'.

  5. Well poop. The browser ate my brilliant witty comment. Around here over dressing is not usually a problem. One sees a bit of the dreaded waist tie, but the weather changes so often one can be forgiven for a minor fashion faux pas. If anything the opposite can be a serious problem almost any time of year. During the warm weather one sees far too many men running without a shirt that really shouldn't. (Why is it ok for them to sear our eyeballs with the horror of it all, and not ok for women, even if I know almost all need to wear a bra to run?) From any time from Labour Day to Victoria Day, being underdressed could lead to hypothermia or worse. A few years ago, on this exact weekend, there was more than a foot of snow on the ground.

    Golly, it sounds like XLMIC could join me on some of my winter runs! Coolest thing? Hmmm. Maybe it was dodging the two mangy mountain goats at 70Kph coming down Highwood Pass on my bike, in the hail. Or maybe looking out the back door of the camp to see a huge brown bear experimentally playing with the fence, and eyeing me in a speculative way. There was about 10 feet between us, and me thinking I was going to do a few laps of the camp just inside the fence.

  6. I would love to do more trail runs and I know there are lots of awesome ones within 5 miles of my house. I have been twice and became lost both times. I need a guide - or a sense of direction.

  7. I used to overdressed all the time and now I know better...
    I prefer being cold..rather than be hot!

    coolest thing I saw in the wild...Mt Hood last week...nothing can beat that.

    I took Sherry's picture on my back down the mountain...for my first leg (leg 1).

  8. I have gotten much better about what to wear to avoid being too hot. It is rarely the other way around. I had a grizzly bear run across the trail in front of me once, that was rather alarming.

  9. Saw a doe and her 2 fawn, that couldn't have been more than 5 days old, on a trail that is very busy and close to residential neighborhoods. The babies were just adorable.

  10. I overheat just climbing my stairs in my air conditioned house, so I always overdress in just capris and tank top - anyways - I've seen a wild cat that had a raccoon like tail and rattlesnakes and dead scorpions (which is a good thing that they were dead) on my hikes in AZ. I only run when there's a bee chasing me, then I get a great PR - stupid bumblebees! :))

  11. I always love trail running. It's a simple way to get exercise which is good for our body. And I always wear those clothes which is comfortable. :)

  12. I definitely overheat. I almost always wear shorts, and will vary between short and long sleeve depending on the weather. Gotta love Northern California!

    Yesterday, I saw a flock of wild turkeys while I was trail running. Must've been at least 8 of them. They weren't hostile... still, I kept a friendly distance and waited until they all crossed the fire road to keep going.

  13. "Do you ever overdress when you run?" Well, I just started running in June, so YES! I always overdress. However, my only alternative is to run naked, and so far that is frowned upon in S.E. Georgia.

    "What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in the wild?" I saw two huge millipedes in the middle of the road during my long run a few weeks ago. I made up a whole story about how they were risking death to find each other. Made the next couple of miles fly by!

  14. Summer is easy, just shorts and a tank, but when it starts cooling off, I always seem to overdress. Maybe I need to think 20 degrees warmer and I'll get it right!
    I've seen quite a few wild animals while running, (rural OK) the fox last summer was probably the coolest. And no, I don't mean a hot guy!

  15. You darn? Where have you been all my life SUAR? I'd move mountains to get a darner!!!

  16. Hi! I'm a first time reader and I enjoyed this post quite a bit. It would freak my freak big time to see a bear!!! I did pass a skunk once though and I am not sure I have ever run a fast half mile in my life as I did trying to get as far from that thing as possible!

    I always over dress. Just this morning I had to drop my jacket on the side of the road after a mile. That last mile home with the dreaded thing tied around my waist was super annoying!!!

  17. I saw black bears while camping a few years ago. I don't know if this counts but I recently went on a boating whale tour, it was so beautiful to see them in the wild.

  18. I saw two badgers up ahead on the gravel county road I was running on. As I was thinking about how to handle it, the badgers saw me and took off for the ditch. I've also scared up deer, ducks and grouse.

  19. I see roos on my trail runs fairly often, but the coolest thing was an echidna!

    I also overheat regularly when I'm running (we don't have proper winters), so when I was in Tasmania recently I was excited to actually NEED proper warm weather gear.

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  21. Looks like a good place for Pikes Peak training, what with all the rocks and tripping practice. I'll have to check that out. I want to see a bear! Not on the trail, but just like you saw it would be perfect for me. I always am worried about mountain lions in Colorado but haven't seen any. About a month ago I was on Bobolink trail in Boulder and saw a bobcat run under the bridge I was crossing. I stopped and he stopped and we looked at each other for a second before he took off. Once I realized he didn't want to eat me, I regretted not getting a pic with my phone. He was beautiful!

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