After setting up camp, I headed over to the Silver King course to get in a ride. Unfortunately, the Silver Rush course surprisingly had disappeared from my Garmin. (As an aside, when the course function on a Garmin works it is great for navigating trails -- I highly recommend experimenting with it by grabbing a route from Garmin Connect the next time you want to try a confusing new ride or run.) Not having a GPS file of the course was problematic because there are loads of old jeep roads outside of Leadville, remnants of the booming mining days no doubt, and these frequently forking roads offer ample opportunities for getting lost. Still, I know the first half of the route from having ridden there a few weeks back. At the end of the route, I just tooled around some dirt roads to get in more climbing. Overall I rode 40 miles in about 4:15 with over 5,000 feet of climbing, although my average speed was buttressed by a long, paved descent back to our campground. Ride: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/190157532
Me on the hill at the start of the course. That sucker is steep!
Not far outside of town:
I find old mines very interesting, for some reason:
The next day Stacey and I ventured to a portion of the course I'd yet to see. Fortunately, right as we started our run two guys on mountain bikes road by and stopped to ask if they could help with directions. We ended up tagging along with them for over an hour as they showed us the route. Stacey and I really appreciated their helpfulness. Anyhow, I ended up jogging under 12 miles in 2:05 with a bit over 2,000 feet climbing. I felt great at the end of the run, and I'm happy that my very easy pace results in sub 11:00 miles even with climbing and the high elevation. Now to just do that run four times in a row! Run: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/190157585
Looking down on town, which itself sits at 10K+ feet.
These guys were navigational life-savers.
This trail gave me a bout of acrophobia:
The view to the right of the above trail:
Watch your step! This filled in mine shaft was right in the middle of the trail!
Stacey and Ozzy posing with town in the background:
Looking uphill (which is much steeper than it looks)...
...and looking back down where I just came from:
Overall, Leadville is a great training place. There are a seemingly endless number of paths to explore in the mountains outside of town, and it's easy to lose track of time on a long run just checking out the views. Just don't drink the water!
An great old song from Modest Mouse, inspired from this video on Pitchfork.