Friday, August 29, 2008

Last full day in Silverton - Snowshoe trail run and a forest hike

Well, I made up my mind that I was going to run that ridge trail (affectionately called the snowshoe trail by some Silverton residents) that we had hiked on Sunday, so today was the last day to do it. Kenny told me that Kyle Skaggs (winner of Hardrock 100) runs it and so I figured I better run it, too! Kenny also said that he had seen 2 fresh deer kills on previous hikes through here, but assured me that running at noon time and with the Dixie Dog would probably (probably?) avoid any potential run-ins with mountain lions (okay, do I try to look big, or is it small? Be quiet or make lots of noise? I do know that you don't run, just slowly back up...)
So, off Dixie and I went, knowing that adrenaline adds to the adventure (I really felt pretty safe, not to worry). We left from the cabin we were staying at just outside of town and ran down towards the snowshoe trail. It was about 2.5 miles through Cunningham Gulch and down the Animas River before we hooked up with the trail. Before cutting up to the ridge from the river, you have to cross a creek flow, but I managed to get across without really getting my feet wet (it is all in the rock-hop technique!)I was in heaven. There were some wide snow melt/mud crossings that have been nicely shored up with cut tree timbers to enable safe crossing, and the rest of the trail is just beautiful. Lots of pines, aspens, grass, sweet singletrack, waterfalls, and mountain views (watch those forest roots, though!) The locals really care for this trail, so all downed trees are cut and moved away and brush is cut back away from the trail. Really nice. This is some of the best trail running I've done (reminded me of some of the really pretty spots at Zane Grey).

At the end of the run (about 7 miles total), we came down off the ridge by the Kendall Mountain Ski area, which is where I'll be bunny sloping it at Christmas time when we return to Silverton (see the baby lift?) Later that day, Kenny, Dixie, Cracker and I went for a hike on the other side of Silverton in a heavily forested area. The first little trail we took off on ended up in multipled downed trees and we gave up. It was like a mini-Zane Grey! We backtracked and found another trail, which turned out to be perfect, and we hiked an out of back (it is a trail to nowhere) of about 2 or so miles.

I did 2 ATV rides, 3 trail runs (total about 19 miles), 1 Body Pump class, and 5 fairly short hikes (total about 16 miles), all in 6 days in Silverton. Lots of fun! Cracker hiked about 14 of those miles. Amazing!

And best of all, I got to do most of it with Kenny and Dixie.

"Happiness only real when shared." ~ Chris McCandless as quoted in 'Into the Wild' by Jon Krakauer.

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