Hey, yea I work in a hotel and I’m also a photographer
Running has taught me a lot and brought me to a lot of places. Its lead me to meet a lot of amazing individuals and realize a lot about myself. These last few weeks have been a little on the rough side. I’ve been dealing with some nagging injuries and even though I’m still running, my miles and intensity has taken a dive. I’ve been upset about it, sad, worried - every negative emotion that can come along with something like this. But this weekend, I started to realize that running isn’t about mass miles or how much vertical gain I can shove into my week. For me, it’s been about the adventure and exploring new trails. Meeting new people and learning. So I decided to stop being a sad little shit and get the fun back into my run.
I did my normal weekend thing of leaving Aspen on saturday night after getting off work. I headed over the pass and into the Sawatch range. I generally camp at Twin Lakes and figure out a plan in the morning, but I decided to just drive and get lost to explore some new areas. I headed to Turquoise Lake and found Hagerman Pass. After a short drive, I pulled off for some shut eye. Having gone to drove and passed out in the dark, I was shocked at my view as I woke up. Though it was gloomy and looked like rain, it was beautiful.
I promptly made some coffee and oatmeal, scarfed down a banana, and headed up the pass to see if I could find a trail for a nice run. During my drive, the rain started to spill and the peaks were getting socked in. I know how drastic the weather can change so I wasn’t too worried and soon I found a nice trailhead. The Native Lake trailhead. The trail didn’t look long but I didn’t care. Until this point, I had never heard of this trail or the lake for that matter. So I laced up the shoes, threw on my wind shell, and headed off.
The trail was short and beautiful. Deep green forest with a saturated, deep brown soil. Not too technical but enough to keep your feet busy. There were several rolling streams that crossed the trial. The rain seemed to be keeping the people away as I only saw two guys just before cresting the high point of the trail. Along with cresting the high point, I encountered some cold temp, unforgiving wind, and some mild rain/snow. The views were worth the temps and weather, though..Native Lake sitting in the shadow of Mount Massive (14,433’)
As much as I would have loved to head down to the lake, it looked to be another 2 miles and a decent amount of descent. Not wishing to push my injuries, I opted to just take in the view from this vantage point. I was certainly pleased with this little find and it was the perfect type of run I needed. I kept it fun and just focused on enjoying the swift movement through nature to simply explore.
After getting back to my car, I made a quick batch of Couscous with a banana and PB for desert and headed into Leadville. I stopped into my favorite coffee shop (City on a Hill) for some reading and ended up running into a friend who is a fellow runner. We swapped stories of what we’ve been up to, chatting about UTMB, his upcoming race at the Bear 100, and just odds and ends. It was the perfect end to my afternoon before heading back to Aspen.