Wow. I’ve let this slide for a while. Between traipsing1 from the twin cities to Nebraska to Colorado and my starting a new job and, well, Golden being like a huge outdoor playground, it’s been the last thing on my mind. But not really. I’ve been frustratingly aware of the fact that I’ve been ignoring this blog and have even started a few posts that are sadly awaiting my attentions again. So tonight, dear reader, as thunderstorms roll over the Denver metropolitan area and my wife sits on the couch, ill2 and watching Nip/Tuck, I shall remedy this. For you. Yes you. No, not you. Just you. Yeah. You.
A quick summary of recent life events. As they pertain to running. Or rambling.
Southeastern Nebraska was an interesting stay. We took a leisurely two days to get to Greenwood, stopping in Story City, Iowa en route from Prior Lake. There’s really not much of note to tourists (that we know of) in Story City other than their annual Scandinavian festival, but it’s about half way between Prior Lake and Greenwood and close to Ames, IA, home to Prairie Moon Winery, which had some very tasty wines. It’s also home to a fairly decent regional chain called Happy Chef, which is a diner style eatery and not a Chinese food place as one might assume by the name. Just to prove that there’s always someone dumber than you out there; as we were paying our bill, another couple was waiting to be seated. As the host started leading them off, they asked “Is that the name of the town we’re in?” . . . pointing to the “Velkommen” sign hanging over the counter. Yup.
The nice thing about Greenwood is that “blocks” are about a mile long and more or less perfectly square – save for the occasional interruption of a highway. So the shortest run I could do (without doubling back on myself, which I detest) was a four miler. One more block for a six. Another block for an eight. It was kind of fun being so geometric. On the other hand, most of the roads were large stone gravel, which was a little rough to run on, but more so a major dust storm when the occasional vehicle rumbled by.
Additionally, southeast Nebraska is apparently a hotbed of wineries. They’ve even got their own Wine Trail group. We hit three3 of them; Deer Springs Winery was very tasty indeed, James Arthur Vineyards was crowded, boring, and overpriced, and WindCrest Winery was isolated, friendly, and extremely delicious4.
The plan was to stay a week and then continue on to Denver. I think we made it to Wednesday before realizing that C is allergic to corn pollen. Who knew?5 So there we are, half way through my first week on a new job, and having to haul westward, including a few hours working from a highways rest area. Good times.
And now we’re in Golden, CO. Where the west lives. Since we got here four days early, we used the weekend to scope out the area and catch up with a friend of mine who lives nearby. Golden is literally an outdoor playground. The RV park is about three miles south of the downtown area, but there’s a trail system that connects the areas. We scoped out the local track6, which is only open to the public on weekdays when there’s no team practice in session, the downtown shops, and, of course, more of the extensive trail system that surrounds the river and stretches off in all directions to connect all the nearby neighborhoods to downtown.
Plus, we’re a few minutes from Lookout Mountain and not much further from tons of other open space parks. Clearly, this month I’m going to frequently break my vow of not driving to where I run.
There will be much photography posted. Soon. I promise.
I haven’t been purely awesome on my 5k Fridays7, but have been trying to participate every few weeks or so. This past Friday I had intended to time myself in spikes on the aforementioned track at Colorado School of Mines. But, alas, it was closed for maintenance! Having not brought anything but spikes with me[8. See? This is another reason not to drive to a run - if you forget stuff you've got to drive back. Or improvise.], I opted for a barefoot 5k on the nice paved trails around the river.
Certainly not my best. In fact, it’s actually four minutes slower than my first 5k ever. BUT, it’s certainly a barefoot PR, so there’s that.
Incidentally, the city of Golden would like to remind you not to seek shelter under the bridges during heavy rains. River waters rise and drown you in the I-beams, fool.
- Yeah, that’s right. Traipsing. In an RV. Some motorhomes rumble down the road. Some roar. Some spin. Some cruise. Some even vehiculate. (I love that word.) But we traipse. ↩
- Get well soon, my love! ↩
- Our attempts to reach a fourth were thwarted by road closures due to severe flooding. Darn plains. ↩
- We gave them much money. ↩
- Apparently her mother knew, or at least suspected, but never shared/warned. If she weren’t such a gosh darn cute mother-in-law I’d shake a tiny fist of rage at her. ↩
- At Colorado School of Mines, recently rated highest in Colorado by US News and World Report. ↩
- Haven’t been keeping up? 5k Friday was an idea put forth on Weight in Vain to track progress over time. ↩