Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buena Vista

Colorado is beautiful any time of the year. I visited my brother in Lafayette (near Boulder) for a few days last week and drank in the magnificient, albeit dry mountain air. We spent the weekend in Buena Vista (an altitude of 8000 feet), a 2 1/2-hour drive from Boulder. The weatherpeople forecasted a weekend of snow and rain, but it remained sunny and pleasant throughout my stay...not surprising at all in Colorado, I'm told.

There was some running involved, though the altitude made me exhale so hard, I am pretty sure I lost at least part of a lung. Despite spewing parts of my anatomy by the roadside, I enjoyed spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains, babbling brooks, scenic countryside et al, while chugging along quiet country roads of this aptly-named little town. I managed 4 runs in all, 2 in Buena Vista and 2 in Lafayette.
I learned that the trick to getting quickly acclimatized to the altitude is drinking gallons of water. By the 4th day, I was not panting as hard, but still felt humbled by the a$$ whipping Mother Nature had handed me....this happens everytime without fail!
There was some mountain biking up a dirt trail.
Puffing uphill. Whew! I'd rather run.

Coasting downhill...ah! That's more like it!Through tunnels

We climbed (a short way up) a fourteener Mt. Columbia. We started at 9200 feet and made it up to 10,900 feet in less than an hour and a half. The weather was perfect, but the mountain was almost entirely snow-covered beyond that and we didn't think it was a good idea to try and make it without hiking boots and Yak-Trax...old running shoes have several uses, but climbing in deep snow is not one of them!

An icy dip in Cottonwood Creek was the perfect ending.

I flew home 2 days ago, to this...

It's green everywhere! This is what I love about the garden state.

14 comments:

ajh said...

Great pics! Vermont was green but now it is all white. We were supposed to do Green Up today at school. It wasn't happening!

Marlene said...

Looks like a beautiful place to visit, but WOW, that's some serious altitude!

Heather said...

What a fun trip! Everything is starting to really green up here, and I love it!

Scott Keeps Running said...

I left a lung there a few years ago. Beautiful though.

Erica said...

I've heard SO many good things about Colorado- looks just totally beautiful. Way to move through the butt whoopings ;) I've never tried running at differing altitudes- I can imagine how tough it is. Hooray for green and warmth.

Abby said...

Wow, sounds like a great trip! I've never been t Colorado, but I'd love to get there. Thanks for the tip of acclimatizing - I'm headed to the Andes this summer, and it'll be my first time in any serious altitude.

teacherwoman said...

Great pics, indeed! Looks like a good time!

Ravi said...

I lived in Colorado Springs for 3 years and I love CO. Boulder is a beautiful place to visit.

Your hike pics are good.

Irene said...

I've only been through Colorado once. It IS beautiful there.

I wonder if we all should get in some high altitude training?

Love your pictures!

Ali said...

So beautiful!

The Happy Runner said...

Wow, beautiful! That tunnel looks cool.

Jill said...

Living in Colorado, I love all the places I am fortunate enough to visit, and this area is one of my favorites. My son (age 14) climbs 14ers all summer and winter and Mt. Columbia is one of his favorites. If you're ever in CO again, give me a shout and we'll go for a run :). Glad you had a great time. Enjoy your weekend, yay!!!!

I Run for Fun said...

Jill, I am sure I will be in CO again soon! Would love to go on a run with you.

Irene, high altitude training is the best! Though it doesn't feel like that when you are gasping through your workouts!

Beth said...

Great pictures and sounds like a wonderful trip. I love CO and have vacationed there quite a bit in the summer and winter. It is hard to run there, though. It surprises me everytime I try to run and I am sucking wind!