#60HikesDenverChallenge – Meyer Ranch Open Space

(For 2017, I had a goal of getting through all 60 trails in the book “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Denver”  While I didn’t make it through all 60 that year, I have carried this goal into 2018.  All the specific trail details can be found in the book or online, but I’ll highlight some things about each trail in addition to including my experience and opinion on the trail here. The numbers below are associated with how they are labeled in the book if you have it.)

Trail #23 – Meyer Ranch Open Space – Lodgepole Loop
Completed: 5/30/18 | Number Completed: 21/60
Mode: Trail Run
Location:  Conifer
Distance: 2 miles (I probably did ~3 with two laps around the loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of trail: Hard packed dirt, balloon configuration
Exposure: Lots of shade!
Facilities: Pit toilets and picnic tables. No water

My Experience:
With a free Wednesday (finally!) I decided to get another hike from my book done. With an easy 20 minute drive from my house, I reached the Meyer Ranch Open Space. This small park is right off the highway and offers a few miles of trail (about 5 miles in total). I have been working on building my fitness back up and after the Bolder Boulder,  I was feeling pretty sore so I wanted to hike/run. The trail from the book is 2 miles in a balloon configuration. After I finished the first loop, I was feeling pretty good so I decided to do another loop and then head back to the car, doing 3 miles total.

The trail starts just be the highway and you hike by open meadows before entering a lush forest. The trail winds around and up as you pass through open clearings every so often. The trail is hard packed dirt with very minimal rocks or roots. I did encounter some people on horseback that I had to wait while for them to find a spot to pull over so I could go around without spooking the horses or going off trail. The whole time I could hear the highway noise and the trail kept winding under giant power lines; not very serene if you ask me. A friend of mine said if you add the Old Ski Run Trail, you lose some of the noise, but I didn’t take that trail this time.

Pros:
-Great for a trail run; there are some fun, small, rolling hills and it’s hard packed dirt with minimal large rocks or roots.
-Lots of shade!
-Close to town.

Cons
-Too easy for an actual hike.
-Short; not many miles.
-Not very serene; the highway noise is constant and there are power lines that run right through the middle.
-Pretty busy, even in the middle of the day on a weekday.
-Multi-use with bikers and horseback riders.

Tips:
-Bring water; there is no potable water here.
-If visiting from out of town, you’re not far from Tiny Town, a fun little tourist spot in Morrison.

Overall:
I’m sure this place is great for really, close living, local people, offering a great place to run some trails, however, I wouldn’t recommend coming all this way for a hike here. The trails are short and not serene, plus the views aren’t that great. Would I have included this trail in the book? No, probably not. I feel like there are way better trails to be included. Now, would I come back and get an easier trail run in? Probably! It’s a great place to do some laps.


Park info

Get the book! 

Sedona Marathon Training – Week 6 Recap

Greetings from Fayetteville, Arkansas! Yes, that’s really where I am. And let me tell you something…. I’m definitely cut out to be a Colorado girl! It’s cold out here! While it is the same temperature as it is back home, the air is filled with a lot more moisture and that kind of cold is WAAAAYYYY different! Brrr!

But, I’m still running in it! I assure you that! Actually, Fayetteville has a fairly new, extensive trail system they’ve been developing. I can easily get on it from my Dad’s house and it’ll take me as far as I need to run in any direction! It goes north to Arkansas Lake (I haven’t ventured that far yet) and South to the Arkansas Razorback’s Campus (I did go this way today).

Before I get too distracted, lets recap Week 6

sedona marathon event logoSedona Marathon Training – Week 6:

Monday: I decided to take the day off from training because I was indeed sore from the previous day’s long run. Although, I was still pretty proud of myself for busting out that run! I bragged about it to all of my bootcamps ladies! I love working in the fitness industry. Not everyone is a runner, of course, but in the fitness world, they appreciate your success no matter what the sport.

Tuesday: 4 miles due. 4 miles complete. This is a typical Colorado week. I ran this day in capris and a t-shirt. On Thursday, it was snowing and I was bundled from head to toe.

keep calm hug a runnerWednesday: National Hug a Runner Day. The question is, would you liked to have hugged me before or after running? Actually, I didn’t get a chance to run this day. I literally worked from 5:45am until 9pm. The only break I got was from 7-9:30 and only because I was waiting for my boss to get home. Don’t get me started on this day. I wanted to murder this day.

Thursday: SNOW!!! Tough Runner Weather. 3 miles – kinda speed work. I did get the chance to see the new Catching Fire movie. It was FANTASTIC!!! Way better than the first one and it follows the book pretty well. I loved it!

cold weather running

IMG_20131126_174315Friday: Worked then napped on and off for most of the day – my body was not having it, so I decided not to run. I needed the sleep. I ran off to work again (ugh I hate my split schedule) … Then, I got to see Warren Miller’s Ticket to Ride for free! The special someone picked up free tickets for us that a local radio station was giving away and I met him down town to see the show. It was amazing! I don’t know if you have ever seen a Warren Miller film, but if you haven’t and you are a skier or a boarder, you need to check them out. I have never even been able to catch one on DVD or netflix, let alone in the theater, so I sat wide eyed and jaw dropped for the entire thing! Very impressed to say the least. The whole event was pretty neat. It was at the Paramount Theatre in Denver on the 16th street mall (They actually having showings all over the Denver Metro Area). I have never been in the Theater before either so that was a treat as well for me (it’s a very pretty, historic building). Out in the lobby they had  a lot of the sponsors with giveaways and other information. They also had a huge giveaway from the actual film hosts during intermission as well!

Saturday: After having a late date night, I woke up before the sun to get in a car and head east to Arkansas. That’s a 13 hour drive in case you’re wondering. Although, I wasn’t allowed to drive, so I slept most of the way, which made it seem like it went by pretty fast! No running was had this day.

 

Actual footage of an Arkansas run.

Actual footage of an Arkansas run.

Sunday: I wanted to get in my long run this day, but after visiting the grandparents on the farm (yes, I said farm. You can’t go to Arkansas and NOT visit a farm), we got back to my Dad’s house a little too late to venture out for a 10 mile run. I chose to keep it short, still get some miles in, but push my long run to Monday when I could go in the middle of the day, when it’s safer.  With my Dad’s help, I discovered a wonderful trail system, and got in 4 miles. Running here looks a lot different than my Colorado.

—Monday, of week 7: 10 miles due, 10 miles complete. New trail fully discovered and I got to see parts of Fayetteville I have never seen!

Part of the trail

Part of the trail

Coming up: I have a race in Eureka Springs, Arkansas on Thursday morning. It’s a trail 5K! I’m super excited! And my Dad is coming with me! What about you all? Who’s doing a turkey trot come Thanksgiving morning??