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cottonwood karenThe mountain trails of the Front Range are gorgeous, but there’s not much need to drive up there to snowshoe when there’s a foot of fresh powder down here.  And you know what a big day it is in Colorado with the Broncos playing this afternoon in the Super Bowl.  So we decided to snowshoe today quite literally in our backyard.  We started at the Niwot Loop Trailhead and headed south into Gunbarrel.  We covered the segment between 79th and 71st Street.

cottonwood edI ran out here yesterday.  Slogging through the snow was tough and I was the only runner.  Everyone else yesterday was Nordic skiing.  Today, at 18° but with full sun and zero wind, had mostly runners and a few cross country skiers.  Yesterday’s skiers helped to pack the snow for running.  Snowshoeing was great.  You’d think 18° is cold but we quickly pocketed our gloves and Karen unzipped her jacket.  The sun shining off the snow serves to warm things up.

niwot tavernThe Cottonwood Trail is fairly flat, certainly relative to the mountain trails we snowshoed on in January.  Plus it’s easier to breathe at half the altitude, so this was our fastest ever pace – well over 2 miles an hour for 3.5 miles.  We brunched afterward at the Niwot Tavern.  If the nearby IBM site has a company bar – this place is it.  We’re home early prepping for the game.  I made my shrimp ceviche mostly last night.  I added avocado and cilantro now to avoid those from turning mushy overnight.  After our 90 minute workout, we’re ready to party over at the Sebestas.  Go Broncos!