The “Three Stooges” Hit the Road
In the middle of the month of May I have little on my plate at work, there were few running Expo’s, so on a whim I decided to take a small road trip to the wonderful state of Colorado, just down the road from Eastern Pennsylvania. LOL My two brothers and myself drove, camped, hiked, hit as many MICRO Brewery as possible and lastly RAN while driving out to Colorado.
Setting up a small 4-man tent most evenings in the rain is just a pain in the ass, and then trying to drink beer in this small tent was a challenge and a half. And by the way in the past two-years I have become the biggest “koozie” pussy ever. O’h and maybe I didn’t mention about my air mattress, during the night at one time or another we “ALL” had to take a leak from our adult beverages. This is when we realized that we had a small leak in our mattress. (sucks to be us) It’s like the Three Stooges, darker than dark outside, and older healthy men trying to get out of a small 4-man tent in the middle of the night on a partially flat air mattress, boy was that a joke. By the way, all of us brothers piss in morris-code. If you don’t comprehend that just give it a couple of years.
From Camping to Livin Large
The camping event took place for several nights. Finally we ended up in Wichita, Kansas at my cousins house, wait did I say house, I meant mansion. We all needed a break from the rain, the wet tent and of course the deflated air mattress. So sleeping in comfort was a nice change up from the previous nights.
We had some just okay runs at several parks and college campuses on the way out to Colorado, nothing earth shattering. We finally ended up in Colorado Springs at Phantom Canyon Brewery for a couple of pints to wet our whistle, well needed. From Colorado Springs we headed to the small town of Fairplay in the Rockies. For anyone who wants to try and find Fairplay on a map make sure you have a magnifying glass available, that’s how small the town is.
We camped in a TINY 10 x 12 hut, for three nights. Waking-up most morning around 3:30 to 4:00 AM because the fire in our very tiny stove we had was out and the average temperature early AM was 28 degrees. Our elevation in Fairplay was a little over 10,000 ft. for the first time ever I was struggling running any distance at this elevation. Talking to a host of flatlanders, pounding head, throbbing headaches, heart rate threw the roof, are the most common issues. I just did not have the stamina to run more that 3 - 4 miles at a time. I guess the word is acclamation. One morning we trucked over the mountain to the Continental Divide Trail head to do several miles, views were fantastic and terrain was rugged, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Moving On, The Road Trip Continues...
From Fairplay we headed a little over an hour North to Leadville. There is only two things in Leadville the old Hotel that serves only one meal a day and the Melanzana Factory. This particular factory has great winter outerwear, you all need to check them out on at www.melanzana.com.
From Leadville we headed south to Selida, where we stayed for 5-nights, biking, running and of course having more IPA’s than one needs. The running and biking was much easier at 7,500 feet. Here we stopped to attend a family wilderness wedding.
On Memorial Day we headed to Sante Fe (because we could) enjoying the sights & scenes. Then onto Amarillo, Texas where we hiked and ran at Palo Duro Canyon. This is a must stop, there was just so much to do. The trails were beautiful, fun and endless.
We continued to Oklahoma City to Anthem Brewing for a couple of pints. Moved onto to Memphis the following AM and stopped to view the Mississippi River and see the largest Bass Pro store in the USA. Truly an amazing facility. Ended with a late lunch in downtown Nashville for some smoked BBQ , a couple of cold ones and some country singing. Drove into the night and stayed in Bristol, Virginia, stopping at Studio Brew before heading home.
We arrived back in Reading, Pennsylvania late May 31st and I was gone the next day in the AM to camp at Worlds End State Park for the weekend. The Reading Pagoda Pacers have an Aid-Station at Mile 27.7 off Coal Mine Road (that’s like really in the sticks) for the World's End 50 to 100K Ultra. So many of the Pacers go up there and volunteer for a day and a half to support ALL the Ultra runners. Everyone had a really great time cheering these individuals on and helping out with food and water. More to follow, the END.