Transfer Trail – Glenwood Springs CO

Transfer Trail – Glenwood Springs CO

The Transfer Trail is a steep road/trail heading North from Glenwood Springs above the Colorado River valley.  The trail was used by the Ute Indians to move over the White River Plateau between river valleys for hunting, gathering and trading.  It became a freight trail during the mining years.  Wild and scenic and a trail less traveled.  Two days later I was on the White River side where the town of Meeker lies and where the roving bands of Utes would live part of the year.  Up river about two miles is an overlook with a brief history of the clash of western civilization with the Ute Indian culture.  A battle ensued in late September of 1879 because the Utes were being unfairly treated and Nathan Meeker attempted to turn the Utes into farmers with irrigation, stationary homes, and bring  ‘culture’ to them. Making a treaty with the US Government had never worked for any Indian tribe, the Utes were forced onto several different reservations.  We destroyed their culture.  However, the White River Plateau, the Flattops Wilderness Area and the the White River valley are absolutely beautiful and are worth exploring using any form of transportation.  Come have a look see…

Glenwood Canyon Brewing – Located conveniently in the Hotel Denver across from the Amtrak station – a beercation in the Roaring Fork Valley could start and end here.  All of their beers are solid, the atmosphere is cozy, and the food is good.  And you can walk out of the restaurant and up to your room.  Parking is about the only tough part of coming to this brewery. Usually will find something on the nearby blocks.   After my 10.7 mile and 3300 vertical foot elevation adventure, I was looking for a good beer cure.  I ordered the 4 pack sampler of St. James Irish Red, No Name Nut Brown, and the Vapor Cave IPA, and Shoshone Stout.  All of their beers are on the thinner side of mouthfeel for body but does not take away from them being good.  All have clean flavors and finishes.  Well worth a visit, plus downtown Glenwood Springs is right out the door as are the Hot Springs and Vapor caves if you are in to the trifecta – great trail, good beer, and hot springs/vapor cave recovery session.  I am usually a biathlon person… take a warm shower later.  glenwoodcanyonbrewpub.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rio Frio Ice Fest 5k – 2016

Warm by winter morning standards in Alamosa, the air still had that cold sting, especially on the tops of the ears.  I made my way to Cole Park for the start of the Rio Frio, a 5k run on the river’s frozen surface, well, not totally frozen.  Warm water artesian springs in the San Luis Valley, find their way into the river and open up flowing water channels.  But, the rest of the surface is 8 – 14 inches thick so fellow runners/walkers are in no danger of falling through as long as we stay on course.  To be continued…

Maroon Bells in Winter

Maroon Bells in Winter

A journey to the Maroon Bells in winter should be mandatory for anyone who wants to experience deep winter in its finest hour.  Maroon Creek Road is closed at T Lazy Seven Ranch – three miles from Highway 82 past the Aspen Highlands Ski Area.  The ranch feels like a throwback to a 1950s feel ranch, hidden in the deep woods along Maroon Creek.  They have sleigh rides, llamas and goats for the kids to enjoy but no longer any reindeer aka caribou –  always interesting, cute and docile creatures.  Park along the road, pull out your favorite mode of transportation – mine is usually always my running shoes as the road/trail is well traveled and generally packed down unless you are out there first, early in the morning, after a heavy overnight snowfall, in which case I put on my NEOS – New England Over Shoes. overshoesneos.com  My running shoe fits inside and they have goretex up to my knees to keep out the snow.  NEOS also work easily with snowshoes.  Trek off!  On MLK day 2016, the temps were in the 30s, the sun was playing amongst fast moving clouds, and an occasional breeze made it comfortably cool.  This doggy heaven as many people use this as their daily dog walk.  Others come to get super fit and skate ski.  With the new fat tire bikes, riders are opting to get after it all winter.  Others use their cross country skis as an official track is cut on the creek side of the road.  Snowmobiles stick to the right side (which is their left coming down), and the middle is for all other modes of transportation.  Suggestion? – Do it.

8.8 miles can make a person thirsty.  Slid into Aspen, grabbed my half growler and settled in for a few samplers.  True Blonde, Brown Bear and Independence Pass IPA.  All yum.  Had a good conversation with the bartender and a young couple from San Fran in their first visit to Aspen.  Good conversation also about Cali, skiing, beer… aspenbrewingcompany.com

Flattops in Winter – Dunckley Pass Access

On the quest to run new trails for this website, tough duty I know,  I was passing through Phippsburg, Colorado on a deep winter January day and saw the sign, the classic brown sign that says  National Forest Access.  My goosebumps rise, alive come my butterflies and my adventure genes get tripped.  Time check.  Have about 2.5 hours of light.  I leave highway 131 and am immediately on a glazy snow packed road through ranch country.  Horses and cows are happily munching on hay, old barns are weathered and leaning, farm equipment is piled high with snow and rusting, and a few cirrostratus clouds are hanging over the Flattops, a series of flat topped mesas comprising a large wilderness area.  I follow the signs toward Dunckley Pass, ranches thin out and I enter the Routt National Forest.  I keep going, wondering where to stop.  I come

around a corner as the road is going up through a dark tunnel of pine trees on the left and aspens on the right.  I see two vehicles parked and  a trail sign.  A guy is removing his cross country skis and I ask him about the trails.  He had fun.  One trail heads south through the woods from where he had come and the road continues onward to the west.  I hear mega barking, an enthusiastic dog sled team up ahead.  I opt for the road as I am guessing the the snow will be packed down.  The person leaving says the road is closed 200 yards ahead.  Turns out to be a 1/2 mile.  Temp = mid 20s, my hands warm up and the road is indeed nicely packed by weekend snowmobilers and dog sleds.  Let the joys of winter running begin = solitude, stillness, fresh air, new views, and wonderful introspections about ourselves  that only deep winter can bring…

Perils = lots of dog poo on trail beginning as the running dogs are having to relieve themselves as they run and it gets tracked up.  Since the dogsled had left only a few minutes prior to my arrival, it had not yet frozen.  Fairly easy to avoid.