Post Run Rabbit Run Adventure-ing: Aspen, Maroon Bells, Rifle Mountain State Park, Moab

Because I am just not ready to rehash Run Rabbit Run 100 yet, I though I’d get to my post race vacation adventures instead. (not to leave anyone wondering, I did finish RRR100, I did buckle, I did finish in the allotted time for hares-with no pacer, with no poles all 105 miles.)

I will, however, just leave this here.

 

Back to adventures! I always try to come up with a fun vacation after my 100 milers as a thank you, and recovery time for my husband.  This year we decided to road trip, see some national parks, do some hikes, eat lots of food, and see some friends.

We had to make our usual stop at the Strawberry Springs just outside of steamboat.  Love that place to soak my tired feet after 29 hours of running around the mountains of Steamboat.

From Steamboat we drove a handful of hours down to Aspen, much like we did last year. There is a nice, quiet, cheap condo right in downtown that allowed us to recover well last fall, so we went there again.  Last fall, even though I DNF-d at mile 70, I was actually more tired and way more sore so we mostly stuck to the river walk and things downtown.

This year we HAD to do the Maroon Bells hike and see the Apen trees in all their glorious golds and oranges.  You park and take a shuttle because a few decades ago people we parking all over and the exhaust was killing much of the vegetation, so now the park has set up a nice shuttle service that will drop you off and pick you up about every 15 minutes.

Rachel BELL Kelley with the Maroon BELLS in the background. Husband thought it was pretty funny 😉

 

The Aspen trees were amazing and well worth it!  We had hoped to make it up to Willow pass, somewhere around 12,500 feet so we could see down into the valley on the other side to Snowmass, but somewhere around 11k my vision was starting to get weird-see stars and I decided that the view wasn’t quite worth it… not that I need to recover for anything, but vacation! Still we got to 11,500ft and just to above tree line and a fantastic view. I was happy with that.

More Aspen trees

 

If you don’t want to walk, the views from Maroon Lake are still spectacular, and that is less than a 5 minute walk from where the shuttle drops you, making Maroon Bells very popular, accessible, and busy(especially in September when the leaves change!)  If you can make it just a bit further, Crater Lake brings the Maroon Bells even closer into view.

The next day we had just a half of a day, so we decided to do the Rio Grand trail around town.  The John Denver Sanctuary is a favorite of mine, so while Drew ran, I ran/walked/tested out the legs for a few miles, and then relaxed in the JDS.

Me, probably wondering how I am going to make it up there.

 

We had a quick lunch with a friend, and then hopped into the car.

Rumor has it that one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite movie’s, Tombstone, was buried in Glenwood Springs…which happened to be on our way to Moab… so I might have made Drew detour to the cemetery.   Hey it was nice to stretch our legs, and the view wasn’t bad.

Doc Holliday’s grave..or is it?  He died penniless and was buried in what was once the public cemetery.  Since then the map has been lost and its now a memorial, so this is just a guesstimate of where he lies. Either way, his schenanagins entertain me, thanks DOC.

 

Back in the car I started to get antsy again, so we veered off to the north in Rifle CO and saw some cool caves and waterfall at Rifle Mountain State Park.

Rifle Mountain Park

Just another nice stop to stretch our legs and then into Utah.

Leaving CO for UT!

 

We got the inside scoop that from Cisco in UT we could take 128 down through some very pretty canyons on the way to Moab, so we did.   It was raining, and at first seemed so sketchy as we almost ran into a huge deer, but as we got closer to Moab our breaths were taken away by the amazing buttes and canyons we drove through.

Seen on the drive to Moab, make sure to take the backboard down 128!

Finally arriving in Moab that evening we were wiped out, so many things in one day!  Unfortunately we could literally only find one room available in Moab, right next to the highway with broken AC so we alternated leaving the window open and being vibrated by the trucks whizzing by, and closing the window..muffling the sound, but making the room so unbearably hot.

 

Hey, its an Adventure!

 

Up next Moab: Arches National Park, Canyonlands and Santa Fe NM!

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