I decided to do the Gold Mint trail for several reasons. Its beautiful and the first several miles are very runnable, with lots of water for the dog. Also, it isn't very far up into the mountains, so I figured it would still be pretty warm. I was right about that, it was 61 degrees at the trailhead, only a couple degrees cooler than the valley below us. Perfect running weather.
Lots of other people clearly had the same idea I did, as the parking lot at the trailhead was packed and we saw lots of people (and lots of other dogs) on the trail. Daisy had to stop and socialize with every dog we saw, and play in every puddle and stream and beaver pond, so we stopped a lot.
My original plan was to run to the 4 mile marker and back. We were doing pretty good, but just before the 3 mile marker I stopped and bent over a little to untangle Daisy's leash, which had become wrapped around her leg. (Warning: TMI) Anyway, as I bent over, my mouth suddenly was filled with stomach acid, and I felt like I was going to vomit. Ewww. I hate throwing up worse than almost anything, and I will do just about anything to avoid it. Anyway, I didn't know why I suddenly felt like that, since my bending over wasn't really that dramatic, I started to worry that maybe I was getting sick, and there is no cell phone service out there, and you know, I started being a worrywart. I decided to turn around at the 3 mile marker instead, just in case.
We made it back to the trailhead without incident, or further stomach issues, though.
I love this trail. Like I said earlier, the first 4 miles or so are very runnable. The first mile is wide and gravelled, and then it narrows gradually to single track.
The scenery is always beautiful, regardless of the season, with lots of mountains, and the trail pretty much follows the river.
There are a few bridges, and some boardwalk:
This run was a lot of fun for both of us, and only a half hour drive from my house. Daisy was a dirty, tired pup at the end of it. Proof positive that it was a good run.