As I dozed off to sleep last night, I thought my dream for our last day in Aspen would be to go on a long’ish 10-12 mile run, or to try to run to the top of Buttermilk Mountain via the summer road. When I awoke however, it seemed far more important to spend time with my family, soaking up the beauty of Aspen, making memories together.
I had already enjoyed more than my fair share of amazing runs on this vacation, thanks to the support of my fabulous peeps, so on our last morning I suggested we drive up Independence Pass to the Grottos and go on one of our favorite hikes. We had heard the water was raging from all the rain and snow melt, and was exceptionally beautiful, so we wanted to see it for ourselves.
The hike up was mellow and fun. My daughter even got inspired to do a little trial running! Go Girl!
We were not disappointed when we reached the top. The water was stunning, and the roar was mesmerizing.
Unfortunately, a photograph could never capture the magic of this moment. I wanted to post a short video I shot, but the WordPress gremlins have been putting up too much of a fight and I don’t have any more time to try to figure it out. Sigh. Just try to imagine the deafening roar.
After the Grottos, we grabbed a Southwestern Salad and Big Smack smoothie from The Big Wrap, one of our favorite “take out” eateries, then headed back to our hotel. Some day we hope the owner, Babs, will open a Big Wrap in Santa Barbara! Hint hint. 🙂
Sitting on the balcony of the hotel, I could feel the air change dramatically and knew a storm was brewing. Afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer in Aspen, but we’d been lucky on our trip. It had only sprinkled briefly once. Today, however, looked like it might be a different story.
I knew I still wanted to squeeze in a run before we had to pack up and head home, and not wanting to be an idiot who thinks she’s smarter than Mother Nature, I opted to forgo my salad and get my run in before lightning started. Once again, my peeps were fantastic, this time driving me several miles back on Owl Creek Road, a sleepy back road between Buttermilk Mountain and Snowmass Village. It’s filled with long, rolling hills and a nice bike path that sprawls in front of Mandalay Ranch, $46 million property formerly owned movie mogul, Peter Guber.
It was rumbling and raining in the distance when I started, which inspired me to run faster than I’ve run in a good long time. It seems Mother Nature was the perfect inspiration for some long-overdue tempo work.
My four-mile run can to an end in the blink of an eye, and sadly, so did our vacation. We are hitting the road tomorrow, stopping briefly overnight in Vegas (ack) before arriving home in Santa Barbara.
Thanks for following us on this journey! It has been a lot of fun having you along, hearing your comments, knowing you’ve enjoyed the trip too.
Until next time…
PS: If you missed any of my other Runcation posts, you can read them here:
Day One: Palm Springs North Lykken Trail
Day Two: Palm Springs South Lykken Trail
Day Three and Four: Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail
Day Five: Arches National Park-Delicate Arch Trail
Day Six and Seven: Aspen’s Rio Grande Trail
Day Eight: Aspen’s Smuggler Mountain
Day Nine: Aspen Mountain
Day Ten: Aspen Backcountry Marathon
Day Eleven and Twelve: Aspen Cycling, Pure Barre, Kayaking Oh My!
Day Thirteen: Happy Hour in Aspen’s North Star Preserve