One of the great things about being a pilot is I get the chance to explore cities that I might not otherwise. I've been to a lot of places and gotten to see some pretty cool things. And typically, I try to explore a place by running.
Take Grand Junction, CO. Situated on the "Western Slope" of Colorado, it's a deserty town close to the Utah border, not far from Moab. It's about a 4.5 hour drive from Denver, and when I'm there, while I'm still in the state of Colorado, I might as well be a weeks drive from home. It's a little town in between a set of cliffs knows as the "book cliffs" and the mountains of eastern Utah. It's a pretty town, known for good mountain biking and farming, specifically peaches, wine, cherries, and figs and dates.
I first went there in mid-2008 when I was with Lynx. I fell in love with the peaches and missed going there a lot when I left Lynx. Now that I'm Kansas City based, flying the Q again, I'm overnighting there a lot. And Junction, more or less, is where my running comeback has started.
As most/all of you know, I have been very lazy since Ironman. I know, I know. But it's time to get going again. And the best way for me to get going is by running. So I've been doing a lot of running in Grand Junction. Our hotel is close to the airport, but nothing is too far away in this city, and if you run about a mile away, you're in the middle of the desert.
Yesterday I ventured out for a 5 miler. I quickly found myself running by dirt bike tracks and some prickly pear cactus. There's a lot of sand bluffs around, and on impulse, I decided to climb one. It might have been a 30 foot climb, but to me, it was amazing. Even being 30 feet above the dirt trail, I could see far out into the valley of Junction, got a great look at the Book Cliffs, could see the airport, etc. It was truly one of those breathtaking moments, and just felt great.
Like I said, I've explored some great cities in our country simply by putting on my running shoes and going out. :-)