Adventures in Colorado: Wide Open Space

Wide open space, howling wind and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs.

Bear Creek Ditch Trail Run, Boulder Colorado

I got a lot of work done this morning, so it was time for a break. It’s been 3 days since my last run, so I looked up an area close by on Google Maps. It looked like a trail, and I’m more interested in exploring than I am a workout right now, so let’s give it a go.

About 6 blocks from my house, there’s a quaint, suburban neighborhood with beautiful Summit Middle School tucked in the center. At the end of Tantra road, a wide dirt trail continues towards a small parking lot. The entrance clearly had my name on it.

Bear Creek Ditch Run Map

Ducks on a Pond

Ducks swimming on a frozen pond

This is an old baseball term I used to say all the time, “ducks on a pond!” It translates to “runners in scoring position”… but that means nothing to you if you’ve never watched or played baseball. I digress.

These ducks were literally swimming in a frozen pond, just before I arrived at the trailhead. It was 60 degrees, I was in shorts, and there were ducks on a frozen pond. I think the sun-to-shade temperature difference around here is astronomical. Either way, a *cool* start to my run 😉

Sustained, 25-mph Winds

It’s hard to put into words what this kind of wind feels like. Powerful. Deafening. Cold. Crisp. Whatever it is, it’s something I’ve never experienced for 4.5 miles straight. Until today.

Entrance to Bear Creek Ditch Trail
The entrance to the trail, at the end of Tantra Rd.

The Dog Spot

Apparently, I stumbled upon the most popular place to bring your dogs in South Boulder. Big dogs, small dogs, brown dogs, hotdogs, big-eared dogs, fast dogs, river dogs. I saw pretty much saw every kind of dog there is.

Cute pup after playing in Mosquito Lake
Cute pup just finished playing in Mosquito Lake

Flat, with a Mountain View

Beginning of bear creek ditch trail

Most of my run looked like this. I got a little closer to the base of the mountains, and went up and down a few rolling hills, but I was basically on flat, open, dirt road, with picturesque mountains following me wherever I went.

Old House/Barn

An old house/barn on bear creek ditch trail

If you’ve ever been to rural Virginia, or rural anywhere really, this probably looks familiar. An old, beat up shack. Kinda looks like a barn. The classic, old school rooster-arrow sitting atop the apex. Plenty of land surrounding it.

This was the backyard of a house off one of the main highways in Boulder, Route 93. It was located right next to a small trailer park (which you can see in the back-right corner of the photo).

What differentiated this place from rural everywhere else were the solar panels (not pictured) on the roofs of several other buildings on the property. It’s also not really rural. From my house, I ran there in 15 minutes, and I assure you, I don’t live in rural Boulder. I can walk to a strip mall containing just about every product/service you’d ever need.

Mosquito Lake

Panoramic view of Mosquito Lake, Boulder Colorado
Mosquito Lake, Boulder, Colorado

The highlight of my run was this little gem: Mosquito Lake. It’s like the Las Vegas of South Boulder lakes, in that it looks like it was just dropped in from the sky, surrounded by nothing else that would justify the presence of a lake.

Vivid blue water, providing sharp contrast to the surrounding landscape. Aggressive, evenly spaced ripples carved out by high winds. The tall, dry grass around it, permanently warped in one direction, further accentuating the stubborn wind.

Although quite different than the alpine lakes I saw back in June 2016, it still emitted a sense of uniqueness. It was not far from the trailhead parking lot, yet somehow I still felt secluded. Maybe because of its pristine condition, its interesting location, or perhaps just the time of day, but Mosquito Lake felt like it was rarely frequented by… humans. I guess there really is something in a name…

Mosquito Lake, Boulder Colorado


After playing with Joey for a few minutes, I grabbed a recovery shake, fired up Spotify, and proceeded to dance around the kitchen to MKTO’s rendition of “Baby, you’re so classic.”

I could get used to this (the song, the Joey and Colorado 🙂 )

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