Color in the High Country

Happy Friday!

I don’t know about y’all, but I am dying for the work week to end. I have some big plans this weekend that I am slightly excited about, and I’m very ready to get this show on the road!

This Sunday, I’m going to attempt a comeback run. Awhile back, Columbia Sportswear offered to register myself and a friend for any race in the Vail Trail Running Series. Columbia is one of the larger sponsors of this race series, and because Adam and the rest of the gang are fantastically nice, they offered to hook me up. Naturally, I said yes, and Angel and I chose the Evergold Trail 5k. Cindy and Craig jumped on board and registered also, so we have a mini-posse heading up to Vail!

Originally, I had thought this weekend was going to be the last weekend before my Denver Rock ‘n Roll marathon, so I only registered for the 5k trail race instead of the 11k. Wisdom at the time dictated a 5k as my maximum run 7 days before a marathon, you know?  However, next week’s marathon isn’t happening, but I still consider the shorter distance a good thing. After all, my knee has not been able to run more than 2.5 miles over the last six weeks, so a 5k will still be pushing it for me. Guess we’ll see how that one turns out, eh?

However, a trail race is not the only thing I have to look forward to this weekend! Because of the supreme Colorado drought this summer, the aspen in the high country are already changing colors. According to reports, the fall color is 4-6 weeks ahead of schedule even! This means that the brilliant gold aspen trees are already approaching their prime colors, and I really want to see it. Additionally, elevations above 12k feet already received a dusting of snow, so my backpacking days are winding to a close. In short, we needed to cram in a mini-backpacking trip.

Photo Cred to Jon Kedrowski who texted this image to me last weekend

Tomorrow morning, we’re heading up to Lost Lake outside of Vail. Lost Lake is a beautiful lake located at 10,000 feet, so we’ll still be camping below tree line. The pack in is super easy and short with almost zero elevation gain,but I think that’s perfect for this weekend. This will be my first trip post-injury and I want to make sure I don’t do anything stupid like re-injure myself. Additionally, we have to wake up early Sunday morning to pack out AND arrive at the Evergold trail race starting line by 10am. A longer trek would be almost impossible!

Tally is psyched 🙂

Of course, Tals and the rest of the pups will be coming along for the ride, so I’m excited for my baby girl to continue testing out some new Ruffwear backpacking gear that she received. Most spoiled dog ever, no?!

Don’t forget– my giveaway for two $100 Sports Authority gift cards ends this Sunday– hop over and enter if you haven’t already!

How do you feel about backpacking with near-freezing or below freezing temps?

Most beautiful place you’ve ever camped, backpacking or via car?


  • Reply Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl at

    I wouldn’t mind back packing with scenery like that! Too bad about the drought, but what amazing views. Good luck on your trail run this weekend.

    I wish I could get my daughter to move to CO, but w/ the recent shooting… she’s like, “um, no”. but am thinking about driving up for the zombie organ trail run. 😉

    • Reply Colorado Gal at

      Oh no! The shooting was definitely awful but I’d hate to think of it as representative of CO!

      I did the Zombie Organ Trail Race last year and it was a lot of fun– may do it again this year!

    • Reply Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl at

      I agree. but when you 11 yrs old, its the whole state. lol. i might need to ween her into CO. 😉

    • Reply Colorado Gal at

      Valid point. For some reason, I had it in my head that she was older 🙂

  • Reply Beth Bault at

    1) The aspens are changing! Exciting! We were hoping to see that in the La Sals in about a week and a half.

    2) Boo to dustings of snow already. You guys can have it all after October 1st…we’re supposed to climb Mt. Peale in UT (12K+’) either the 25th or 26th so no snow yet!!!!

    • Reply Colorado Gal at

      It seems like it’s coming quick this season, so we’ll see! I’m excited for snow, but I was also hoping to get more late season backpacking in. We’ll see!

  • Reply ash & diz at

    Backpacking in freezing weather does not sound appealing. I’m kind of a wuss though!! lol. Though you’ve got beautiful scenery, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad! 🙂

  • Reply Ed at

    I would totally take a cold weather backpacking trip, but only if I had all the right gear. You can totally get caught with your butt in the wind if you don’t! I have only done a couple of trips in Alaska, but I didn’t have the right gear and I was miserable the entire time!

    Most beautiful spot would have to be the Tsiu River in Alaska. It is very remote and one night we were out riding our ATVs (mind you this was for work believe it or not) and we saw the most amazing sunset. Like the one that confirms your faith in a higher being…that being said the next couple of weeks we got pounded with hurricane force winds, so it was weather dependent!

  • Reply Jenelle at

    Good luck! I bet it’s beautiful there!

  • Reply Efo at

    Have fun this weekend! I love backpacking in the cold, well, the kind of cold that hits 32*C, but not snowing-all-night-freezing. Granted, the pack is slightly heavier with more clothes, but it’s lovely temp for the pack in/out! My fave backpacking trip? Oh man… Maroon Bells (Aspen, CO) or the Great Sand Dunes (also in CO). Those were awesome!

    • Reply Colorado Gal at

      I still think the Bells are one of the prettiest areas in Colorado! I haven’t been to the Dunes in at least 10 years, but I remember them being freaking cool!

  • Reply Kayla Carruth @ kpLoving It at

    Sounds fun, and pretty! Be easy on the knee this weekend!!! Take lots of tree pictures!!

  • Reply eric at

    Ive done the snow trips.. you know how it goes, be prepared, dress warm, eat enough. Boom! The most beautiful place we have been is Indian Lake nY…. in the fall when everyone else is gone, take a boat out to one of the islands and sneak a camp trip in… cant beat the colors in the ADK park reflecting off the still lake…

  • Reply Laura @ scribbles and sass at

    Head north from you and that’s where I am – nestled in the Canadian Rockies in Calgary, Alberta. I love getting into Banff National Park and exploring – it’s just so absolutely stunning. Being from Toronto it’s not something I was ever used to until I move last year.
    I’m still not too cool about the temps 😉

  • Reply jenna at

    looks absolutely gorgeous! im sure you’ll have an awesome time! i love to camp, and i visited aspen once. i seriously LOVED it!! have a super weekend! spa love!

  • Reply Alyssa at

    Um, I feel the same way about all activities in freezing or near freezing temps – unless they involve a hot drink and fluffy robe, I’m out. You are a tough one! I loved running along the water in San Diego, and I hiked some gorgeous cliffs in Maine!

  • Reply Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb at

    Have fun and as always, be safe!

  • Reply at

    Bummer about the marathon, but trail runs in Fall with friends-you are so luck! Have fun. The best, most beautiful place I have camped was in the Tetons. That place humbles me like no other.

  • Reply brg at

    see you there! I signed up for the 5k. Figured it would be a last good tune up run before the Golden Leaf Half Marathon in Apsen next weekend. I REALLY wanted to do the longer race, but decided I’m too old and would need too much recovery time after the 10k (or is it an 11k?) The colors are so great right now! Also, it’s the last weekend of my Breck summer rental (so sad) and had to get another mtn bike ride in today and the run tomorrow.

  • Reply Jamie at

    I hope that the 5K went well!

    I like that Mount Desert Island, Maine is the most beautiful place that I have gone camping or hiking, but I am biased since I am from there!

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