Runtrails' Rocky Mountain Journal
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"There is no satisfaction without a struggle first."  - Marty Liquori

After four days on the road from our home in Virginia, "Runtrails and Company" has arrived in Colorado. It's wonderful to be back!

Every time we drive westward into Colorado or Wyoming, we search the distant horizon for our first hazy glimpse of snow-covered peaks near Denver or Sheridan. Is that a cloud or a mountain? Hmm. It doesn't seem to be moving like these other clouds. We finally get close enough to confirm that yes, indeed, it is the Front Range or the Bighorns rising majestically above the Plain. What excitement!

I took this photo of snow-capped mountains through the windshield today as we headed west of Denver on Rt. 285 toward tonight's stop:

We're looking forward to another great summer in the mountains. It's time to RELAX.


Life can be intense when we're home, especially as the time nears to go on an extended trip like this. Nothing bad has happened to us since I ended the 2006 journal last fall. We've just been very busy keeping up with our home and yard, family, volunteer work, running, and other interests. We continue to plan more than we can do, and our ability to accomplish all the things we want to do diminishes as we get older.

So much for my goal of becoming more of a "Type B" kind of person!

It was tough to leave Colorado last August because we had such a great summer. We adjusted to our routines back at home fairly quickly but procrastinated doing some things we should have done to facilitate leaving again this summer, like cutting enough firewood for next winter and starting the 2007 journal.

Tater checks out the woodpile in early May

Those jobs became somewhat frenzied during May. And there are some things we just can't do until closer to the time we leave, such as weeding the flower beds one last time and packing the camper -- more labor-intensive jobs.

Weeds don't take vacations!

I regret not starting the 2007 web journal at the beginning of the year. Several web-related projects  took much longer than I expected, such as organizing several years of digital photos, changing several links on 400+ pages of the 2005 and 2006 journals before our friend Eric suggested using a "frame" on the left side (no time yet to change it on those two journals), and making other visible and invisible changes to the web site.

I also lost a couple months of photos in early 2007 (long story) that I had hoped to include in the journal. That was a hard lesson to learn. You just cannot back up digital photos in too many places! We had some interesting training runs and races that I hope to add later to the journal when I get around to discussing our training for this summer's races, but there are no photos of some of them.


If you've ever left your home for three months, you already know how many things there are to do before you leave. Even though we're fairly well-organized people, we still got pretty stressed out the last few days at home. Driving hundreds of miles each day with a camper in tow was also nerve-wracking. (Most folks in little cars have no clue how long it takes us to slow down or stop.) But each day we got farther away from home, the more relaxed I got. The mountains beckon!

Fortunately, our trip west was pretty uneventful -- no blown camper tires or major mechanical problems like last year, no bad traffic tie-ups, and only a few construction sites to slow us down on I-64 and I-70 between Virginia and Colorado. We narrowly dodged a nasty storm in Kansas and Missouri with 70 MPH winds and flooding. I took this photo of the arch in St. Louis during a rainstorm we hit in that city on Thursday:

Our only problems so far have been occasional slow lines for diesel pumps, a broken hinge on a kitchen counter extension (Jim will replace it with a lighter weight piece of wood), and a minor glitch with the black water dump valve that he jury-rigged until he can find a replacement part.

So far we haven't had to pay for overnight camping anywhere. We found good spots at Wal-Mart stores the first three nights (with permission from the managers) and now we're hunkered down on vacant land next to the fire department in a small town west of Denver. It is reasonably close to the two trail heads we'll use on the Colorado Trail tomorrow.

After that run, we'll move to the inexpensive ($11/day) National Forest Service campground at Kenosha Pass for one or two nights. We enjoyed staying there last year and it's convenient to the second CT segment I'll run on Monday. It is probably full this weekend, so for tonight we'll guard the fire house! (Jim, a volunteer fireman, feels right at home.)

Internet connections with our cell phones will be sporadic in this area and after we get to Dayton, Wyoming on Tuesday or Wednesday. We'll post entries and respond to e-mail as often as we can.

Now off to bed with dreams of running Segment 3 of the Colorado Trail tomorrow -- I'm psyched!!

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and Tater

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2007 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil