Satyrday nite, Nov. 10, we had our first ‘stick-to-the-ground’ snow since last winter. Not a LOT of snow, but the accompanying cold temps (it’s also been a while since we’ve been sub-freezing) kept the white stuff around a while. And … I was going to either bike or run today, Sunday (and the dogs would also get a much-needed outing) — so it was definitely a RUN DAY.
I had done a volunteer job on the Colorado National Monument (CNM) the day before and apparently didn’t “get enough Monument” — so I decided to have my/our running fun there. Being higher in elevation, and presumably colder, there was much less chance of muddy conditions as there’d be “down in the valley.” Above, we cruise by a subdivision at the foot of the Monument. Below is the last stretch of road before we officially go INTO the CNM.
Looking back out my window: some snow, Doolie’s head, my elbow …
The Mon looks as if it’s wondering about the new appearance — “shall I shake this powdery white stuff off or what?”
We don’t actually run IN the Monument. I cross the boundary on the uphill, Glade Park side, where the land is property of we-the-people (U.S. Gov. territory, administered by the BLM). A short while later is a not-too-obvious 4WD (four-wheel track) through a barb-wire gate. I stop just inside, let the dogs out …
excited romping, whoopee! we’re going to run!
and we’re ready to go. The white stuff ain’t deep, to my ankles in places, but it covers everything and due to the cold, it’ll stay that way most the rest of the day. Did I say cold?
I haven’t worn gloves, nor ear-coverings since last spring. The (red) single-glove strategically warms another area apt to get cold in the sub-freezing chill.
RockSea is, as you can tell, a real schnow dawg — and today she stayed out ahead, running faster and further (what with all the zig-zagging) than did I.
We ran up a valley, then gained the edge of a ridge, looking down into the canyon a lot of the time. Earlier today I read a description of a “change-of-the-seasons run”. Take a few minutes and read “Take a Deep Breath and Jump Right In” on the rantandrollallnight blog (on WordPress) — by EthelTheDean. Reading it, I felt a resonant chord as she described pretty much how I feel and look at the experience on days like this Snow Run — except her words are … so much better. To the point? Invoke the senses. Takes you outside of the limits of the mere physicality of it. Brings it all back together.
At first, Sleven is as enthusiastic as RockSea, but after 4 or miles, starts taking it easier. I ran an out-and-back, intending to duplicate the time and effort I’ll probably expend on a 6-mile race this coming Saturday. The race plan is that saying chiseled in the stone of the collective minds of the running community as promulgated by Walt Stack: “START OFF SLOW & TAPER OFF.”
Back to the truck, everybody in …
The panaramas on the Monument are, if not “world-,” then definitely regionally-reknowned. Sunrise, sunset, the frequent cloud vistas — and today the interplay of the arrival of the snowy season. Yeah, the entrenched autumn is not ready to give up yet.
As one enters the Monument from the uphill, south, Glade Park side … you see the Grand Mesa on the horizon line, right; and Mt. Garfield (just above where the road disappears turning left) the prominent feature of the Book Cliffs.
What you CAN’T SEE is that, between the road turning left and Mt. Garfield, is the 2,000+ foot drop to the valley floor — the town of Grand Junction. The snow-storm rolls, roils, away, to the east.