After Mel and I ran 4.5 miles on trails and through fields around the University Of Southern Indiana, we met up with our friend Blake (roommate from Spain last summer), and followed the "pizza brick road" to Turoni's Brewery in Evansville, Indiana.
After starting a long day of driving leaving Indiana and passing through Illinois we drove through St Louis, where they have this arch. The gateway to the West. Appropriate.
Eventually we made it out of Missouri and into Kansas. Above is a picture of the Monroe School in Topeka the school attended by Linda Brown herself that was ultimately integrated following the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown vs Board of Education. The National Park Service does a great job maintaining the museum and spreading the message of equality to those who stop by. A must-see if you ever drive through Topeka.
We spent a while in Kansas and found it exceedingly beautiful. Once the sun had set stars speckled the sky creating quite the spectacle. We made it through Kansas and into Colorado. The road got the best of us and we slept for a few hours at a rest area before finishing the final few hours to Colorado Springs, where we arrived around 6:30.
With no delay we headed to the parking area (7,085 ft) at the base of Blodgett Peak (9,380 ft). The peak is only a couple of miles from my aunt and uncle's place where we're staying, and had caught my eye a year and a half ago when we were there, so I thought of this as unfinished business.
From the parking area there is a little network of mapped trails, none of which lead to the peak. Melissa and I meandered through these gaining and gaining elevation until she went her separate way to do some exploration. It turned into a pretty serious bushwhack for a while, then morphed into a boulder scramble that went on and on.
The view from the summit was grand, to say the least. The 2.5ish miles to the top took me 1:02. The weather was prefect and Pike's Peak seemed to be beckoning in the distance... Next time.
I picked a more direct route for the descent, which quickly proved to be foolhardy. I descended gingerly through loose boulders and oversized gravel, slipping and sliding, grabbing what I could to help manage the terrain. I eventually made it back into the trail system and enjoyed a lovely last 1.5 miles of running.
I embedded a couple of video clips below to share some other vantage points.
I could definitely feel the effects of higher elevations, even at 7,000, needless to say at almost 9,400... My apologies for breathing hard and talking weird in the videos, I will acclimate...
Next stop, Leadville.