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Wine Country Run

May 24, 2013

Last week I found myself back in one of my favorite places in Colorado for work: wine country in Palisade.  More specifically, I was back at the Wine Country Inn overnight and for a meeting the next day.  That’s what happens when they let this girl choose the meeting venues 🙂

I checked in just before 5 p.m. and had time to run through the vines to the Grande River Vineyards tasting room next door.  On my walk over I was delighted to see that this time, as opposed to my last visit in October, some wine grapes were starting to grow!

Palisade vines

I did a tasting here on my visit back in October, brought a couple bottles of wine home, and have been missing them ever since we drained the last drops.  On my way in I was tickled by this little garden flag.

Yes, it certainly does...

Yes, it certainly does…

Now, I suppose I could have just referenced this blog post to see which wines I had bought the last time, but I figured it would be a lot more fun to run through a tasting and see what spoke to me that day.  I ended up walking away with bottles of Viognier and Cabernet Franc, same as last time, plus a bottle of their Meritage White, a crisp and refreshing white blend that tasted fantastic on that hot evening.

Walking back to the Wine Country Inn at happy hour time.

Walking back to the Wine Country Inn at happy hour time.

I walked back to the hotel and met up with a couple of colleagues for the complimentary wine reception followed by dinner, then called it a night.  I had plans to get up and run early the next morning and I didn’t want to back out.  I came close to changing my mind when my alarm went off and I felt SO comfortable (the Wine Country Inn has great beds), but I pulled up the weather app on my phone and saw that it was already 60 degrees out at 6 a.m.  Considering that I hadn’t seen temps that high before noon in Vail so far this spring, I shot out of bed and laced up my shoes.

Palisade Run

With no plan for where to go, I headed down the drive toward the main drag (Elberta Ave.?) and went about 30 yards south to where I saw a dirt road paralleling the irrigation canal.  I turned off and followed this road for a little while, running toward the Grand Mesa and admiring the colors the rocks turned as the sun rose.

Palisade run

I realized pretty quickly that if I kept running this way, I’d be paralleling the highway, which was the one view of the area I was entirely too familiar with.  I doubled back toward the hotel, crossed Elberta again and took a residential road winding west.

Palisade Sunrise Run

I ran past homes, orchards and vineyards, this time admiring the light against what I’m pretty sure are the Book Cliffs.  None of my photos accurately captured how beautiful the light was against the mesas or coming across the fields.

Palisade Sunrise Run

Palisade Morning Run

I passed some nice homes along this stretch and found it to be really cool how many of them had what appeared to be seasonal fruit stands attached.  Some of them looked like full-on farms, while others looked like a side line business.  It might be because I’ve never lived anywhere remotely close to a farming community that I get such a kick out of this stuff.  Or maybe it’s just cool.  I’ll let you decide.

Palisade Farm Stand

Palisade is the peach capital of Colorado and grows to-die-for fruit over the summer.  Even I, a non-fruit-lover, can't wait until they're ripe.

Palisade is the peach capital of Colorado and grows to-die-for fruit over the summer. Even I, a non-fruit-lover, can’t wait until they’re ripe.

I ran about 3 miles and made it back to the hotel in time to shower up and enjoy the delicious complimentary buffet breakfast before setting up for my meeting.  I’ll leave you with a couple of photos that I couldn’t resist making that much more magical with Instagram.  These honestly feel closer to what I saw with my own two eyes on my gorgeous run!

Palisade Sunrise

Palisade Sunrise

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