Friday, June 23, 2006


The trip to Colorado was incredible. Being a sworn and proud flatlander, it's always edifying to head into the mountains. We spent two days in Frisco/Breckenridge where I got some good training hikes into the Eagle's Peak Wilderness area above Frisco, CO, then on to Ouray, CO, where I was able to hit many of the town trails such as Portland Mine, Silvershield, and the Cascade system, along with the Red Mountain area between Ouray and Silverton, maxing out at 13,000 feet. Mostly hiking, a little downhill running, although I was surprised the altitude really didn't affect me much until over 12,000 ft. On to Colorado Springs for Pike's Peak, Garden of the Gods, etc. No 14ers this time, other than driving to the top of Pike's. Not enough time to get in to Sneffels or Sunlight. Next time for sure. Oh, and plenty of Fat Tire, Avalanche, and Black Butte to grease the gears.

Still, the San Juan Mountains around Ouray and Silverton have to be among the most stunning mountains on the planet. Hardrock is a fantasy goal for sometime before I die. Or maybe as I'm dying? Whatever it takes. A few obligatory pics:

Famous balancing rock at Garden of the Gods

Public school in Silverton, CO., start of Hardrock.

On the pass up between Red Mtn I and II.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison-- Montrose, CO. Not as wide as the Grand Canyon, but just as breathtaking.

Red Mtn area looking, I think, toward Wetterhorn Peak.

Taken from rutted Jeep road between Ouray and Silverton, near California Pass.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Off to the Mountains

Been getting in some good miles for Howl at the Moon. Did a good half marathon tempo run on the flat limestone Rock Island Trail two weeks and then a good 3 hour run at Farmdale on Sunday morning. I'm a bit nervous about doing long distance on a flat surface, as I tend to get hip soreness without hills, but hopefully all will go well.

Also, met with Dave and Marvin to plan Dave's run across Illinois. He decided to go from west to east, starting in the Quad Cities and utilizing the Hennepin, I & M Canal, and Old Plank trails as much as possible, finishing on the Indiana border in 4 days. I hope to get to crew at least part of the time.

Off to Colorado for a week of the mountains. Back in 8 days.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Farmdale Trail Runs

My friend, Dave Tapp, is spearheading a new event in central Illinois this fall--the Farmdale Trail Runs. There will be an 8 mile event and a 32.5 mile ultra distance on some great trail. The race will be on Sat., October 14 at the Farmdale Resevoir in Sunnyland (East Peoria), IL. The route highlights the best of this area: lots of wooded single track through hardwood and pine forest, water crossings, a few hills, some open meadow areas, wildlife (not just the runners).

We spent Memorial day morning measuring the course with local orienteering expert, Marvin Doyle.

Dave has put some info, pics and course descriptions on his website. You can contact him through there for more: