In 54 days I will be packing up Waylon and heading across the Nation!
Today I finalized my first 2 weeks of my 40 day trip! The GOAL: Run Trails as Much As Possible!
I started planning this two months ago. One of my good friends, Julie, moved to Everson WA, and after she sent me a text that said "You need to pack up W and come to Washington to see me this summer. There are so many epic trails to run".
So the wheels started turning. I had the ability to take 5 1/2 weeks off and I NEEDED to get in some great training miles as I am training for a challenging 100k that requires training on technical and hilly trails. So I started playing around with the idea of a trip to hit some EPIC trails. I posted a tentative, think I am going to do this map on Trail and Ultra Running and got overwhelming responses of trails I should run, and places I should go. I LOVE the trail running community, not a single person said I was crazy. Instead there was instant support and ideas. So I read through them all, did some research and now have the first 2 weeks ready to go.
Camping! I will be camping my way across the country. Starry Nights, Campfire, and S'mores! I am hoping to meet some nice people who will occasionally let me use their shower so I get a non-camping shower once in a while, and let me use their wi-fi to update everyone on my trip.
Day 1: Leaving mid day early June. Driving to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It will be a quick stop, but a great place to camp and grab a quick 6 or 7 miles in the morning, or maybe a night run.
Day 2: Driving up to Superior National Forest. It is a 10 hour drive that I will just get through quickly. Once I am up there I can find a camp spot and get set up. Throw in a few miles to shake off the run, then enjoy some clean air and a fire.
Day 3-5: All of the running in Superior National Forest. This will be long mileage and many hours spent running and hiking. Across the 3 days I will plan on getting 40+ total miles. I will find doggie care for one of the days as I will be doing a 20+ mile run and W can't do that type of mileage. But I will make it up to him with a hike and swim after I am done :-)
Day 6- Find a grocery store to restock food then onto the 13 hour drive to the Black Hills. There is a lot of great stuff I will be driving by, but this trip is about getting to WA, so sacrifices have to be made.
Day 7-8 Black Hills Running. After my rest/drive day the day before I will be looking to get in some moderate miles on some technical trails. I am looking forward to camping here and getting into the Black Hills. Maybe I will grab some black hills gold while I am here!
Day 9-10: Heading down to Casper Wyoming to visit my Mom, brother, sister-in law and Grandad. I haven't been home in 5 years, so it will be nice to see everyone. This also will be a great time to restock some groceries and supplies. Waylon will be able to visit with all the dogs he was raised with. I can do some trails up in my home mountains, which will be nice!
Day 11- Big Drive to Lola National Park in Montana/ Idaho. I am a little fuzzy on the exact location actually. There are SO MANY trails and mountains to run in Northern/Western Montana and in Idaho. So many to pick from, more research needs to happen.
Day 12-14- This is all trail running days in whatever part of the mountains I end up in. This is another high mileage chunk of days that will require finding a doggie sitter so I can do a 20+ run one of the days, or maybe 2 of them.
Then I am heading to Washington where I will spend a week with Julie! This is right around my birthday, and my birthday tradition is to run a 50k so I will be finding a 50k to run while I am there!
I am starting to put together supplies, borrowing a sleeping bag and hopefully a propane camp stove to do some cooking on. I am definitely going to try to make this trip as inexpensive as possible. I am taking food and grabbing the stuff I need at grocery stores. As a vegetarian that means I will be also preparing high protein foods ahead of time and buying vegetables and such as I go. It is going to be EPIC and I am sooo ready to go already!
I can't wait to take beautiful photo's of America's untouched lands, see the beauty of this nation you can only get to on foot. And stoked to share this grand adventure with Waylon, my faithful companion.