Saturday, September 11, 2010

Buffalo Spings Lake - Hill Training for Cactus Rose 100

The real hills of Lubbock are at Buffalo Springs Lake, about five miles outside the city limit. Lubbock is pretty much a pancake, but if you drive out to the lake, you will find that the earth suddenly and unexpectedly dips down to form a beautiful canyon. They have fishing, boating, dirt bike riding, hiking, swimming, etc. I went for the hills.

My friend Alec Pourteau told me about this place, and Lisa Smith-Batchen urged me to get my butt out there to do some real hill training for Cactus Rose. She has trained on these hills before, having spent some time in Lubbock. She said the hills were big. Boy, she wasn't kidding!

I found that most of the hills were formed by the trail traversing the the edge of the canyon, that part where the earth dips down. The wonderful thing was that the trails were nice and rocky, similar to the terrain in Bandera. It is good training. I managed to take my camera with me on one of the loops and I snapped some photos of the trails. Here they are:

You start down in the canyon, by the lake. In order to get up to the trails at the rim of the canyon, you have to hike back up one of these steep trail heads. They are somewhat treacherous, with loose, rocky footing. But, I realized that if you hesitate with your footing too much, you are more likely to slip. The best way to get up these things, I think, is to bound up them as fast as you can. Stay light on the feet! Getting back down is the tricky part. I had to get on my ass on some parts and scoot down little by little. It's that steep.

Once you are on the rim of the canyon, the real fun begins. For here are the trails!

The trails are very scenic, too! Lots of interesting sights. From cool rock formations... broken bridges... beautiful flora...

Some flora is downright dangerous!

But, the best part of the Buffalo Springs Lake experience is this monster hill I found. I turned my head and was like, hello! I had to go up it!

At the top! Victory!

So if you are ever in the area, head on over to Buffalo Springs Lake! It is so worth it. I, for one, plan on doing a lot more training runs there!

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