Thursday, July 15, 2010

Running with deer in Bear Creek Park

It's our last full day on our Colorado Springs vacation. We head back home tomorrow after what has been a great week. This morning we went to Bear Creek Park which has trails for hiking, running, mountain biking and riding. After speaking with the nice people at the nature center my wife and kids selected a trail and went for a walk. The docents suggested the more "running friendly" regional trail to me so I took that instead. The regional trail's surface started as crushed rock and changed to dirt (both sandy and hard-packed) as I went along. The trail was up and down with some inclines that went on for a while.

Almost immediately I encountered my first deer, a large female that crossed my path near my starting point. I followed the well marked path until I reached a crossroad that went north with a steep incline. At the cross point stood a very large buck that watched me closely as I passed by. I managed to get a shot from my iPhone before heading toward the northeast path and almost tripping on a rabbit that darted in front of me. As I made my way up (and up and up) the trail, a smaller deer jumped out in front of me and gracefully ran ahead of me on the path. I turned around after about 15 minutes and doubled back taking a slight detour to see where the trail led. It lead to a sign that said "Trail Closed" so I headed back to the trail head. I got a rock in my shoe that I was able to coax away from my heel by changing my gait. It made me think about those trail shoes with built in gaiters to prevent trail effluvia from getting in. Along the way back I ran by a creek and took a shot of that before finishing my 3 mile run. I met up with my family at the Nature Center. They had lots of fun and took some great pictures on their walk. But only I saw deer!

The rest of the day was jammed packed and I'll write about that tomorrow. Heading home on Friday. Boy I'm going to miss this place.

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