The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'

…the Hewlett-Gulch Trail

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Better late than never, I’m posting about Thanksgiving!

After discussions of a trail run the weekend prior to Thanksgiving week, the boy and I finally followed through with a Thanksgiving morning early afternoon trail run.

We had previously decided on the Hewlett-Gulch Trail; a mountain bike/running/hiking trail that lollipopes its way through 6 miles in the Poudre Canyon, just northwest of Fort Collins in the Roosevelt National Forest.

I was excited to trail run, since I hadn’t done that in a while. But, I got a little nervous when I saw the recently posted signs about mountain lion and bear sightings in the area. The bears, not too concerned about. The mountain lions, most definitely! Because they are watching you when you don’t know. Because they are stalking you, without a sound. Because they’ve been coming down from the mountains a lot in the last few years and attacking people in neighborhoods. The neighborhoods where I work! So, if they are confident enough to do that, then they are confident enough in their own environment to stalk and attack me! A helpless blonde! Good thing the boy and the boy’s dog were with me. Hopefully, they would be attacked first. Then, I would get help.

The trail starts out at a low 5680 feet elevation. I found the trail to be pretty gentle, which is probably what I needed in returning to the mountains. There are numerous streams to cross; where I find out that the boy gazelles over them, without hesitation. I, on the other hand, have to stop at each one and evaluate each rock that I will step on. Oh Type A….

After about 2 miles up the canyon, the wind picks up and the clouds come out, putting a little bit of a damper on this 60 degree day. It’s wet, and snowy, and muddy. The boy’s dog is flinging up mud and splash-back is covering my front. And now, my mind starts playing games with me, as we come into a dense area, surrounded by trees, undergrowth, and the like. I start to hear sounds in the bushes and branches. They don’t belong to the boy’s dog, who is in front of me. I’m convinced it’s a mountain lion stalking me. I mean, why wouldn’t it be?

I get a little paranoid and turn back around 2.5 miles, for a 5 mile total. I’m fine with this. I don’t want to die.

I did like the trail for something short and easy. Not a lot of uphill, although I’m told it gets fairly steep in the section we didn’t run. I’d love to run it in its entirety another time.


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