Thursday, June 16, 2016

Trail Running Across America Blog 3

I am in Wyoming! 

Day 7: Wake up, grab some hot coffee, some quick breakfast, and head to the Big Horns. I am leaving Waylon with my uncle so I can do a longer run. I have looked at the Big Horn race site, and there are very clear directions to the start. So I drive up the mountain and get to the start. The course is really well marked with orange flags. The course is exceptional. There are sections on old 4-wheeler roads, single track trail, and meadows. And that is just the first 8 miles. ( I did out and back).
When you first start the course, you go up a nice hill, which puts you on top of the ridge of the mountain. You run up that ridge for several miles which gives spectacular panoramic views of the mountains that go for miles on miles. Finally you turn left and go through some wooded areas, where the smell of fresh pine just makes you say "ahhhh". Honestly, nothing smells as clean and fresh as a Wyoming mountain. Clean, thin air that smells of fresh pines trees, sagebrush, and wild flowers. Just, relaxing.

After going through the wooded area you come out to a 2 mile descent across a meadow.
Thankfully this was well flagged as there is no way I would have known where to go. It is not really a trail here, as much as its running around the sage brush to get to the trail. Eventually it reconnects and I continue down into the bottom of the valley. Once I hit the bottom, I am at my halfway point. So I turn my happy little butt around and start the climb back up. WOOF. And for a little over 2 miles, I climb and I climb. As I am going up, I am thinking to myself... "Half a bowl of cereal, half a box of wheat thins, 10 licorice strips, and a salad, maybe was not enough for this.". Dumb ass. However, I am prepared and have packed some granola bars which I reward myself with when I get to the top of the hill. On the way back I am just running, running, thankful for the chance to be here, doing this. 

Like a jackass I however, did forget to put on Suncreen. ummmmm, yeah. I started at 7, 474 feet and climbed up to 8. 524 feet. That is really close to the sun, in really thin air. My fair skinned red headed ass (not literally) got burned. Well, shit! I also had a little bit of a hard time breathing, especially going up the hills. They were tough to climb! 

But it was seriously worth it! The views are incredible! When I was done I drove down the mountain and spent the rest of the day hanging out with my Uncle, grabbing dinner, and checking out classic cars. It was a great day! 

Day 8: Woke up, strapped on my road shoes and headed out to run the small town of Sheridan. They have put walking paths in around the city and for about half the run, I stick to those. Then I go through the town. I forgot what small towns are like. Everyone is friendly. Literally every single person I saw, whether they were walking their dogs, walking by themselves, or sitting on a bench watching the world go bye, said Good Morning. Cars stopped when they didn't have a stop sign and signaled me to cross an intersection. And everybody greeted everybody, stopping to shoot the shit as they walked down the street. I love to VISIT small town America. It is a nice break from the city. 

Once I got back I cleaned up, packed up and headed South to Casper to see my mom, brother, and sister-in-law. I haven't been here in 5 years, so there is a lot of catching up to do. I am up late bull shitting and talking about all the things you just don't talk about over the phone, so when the alarm goes off in the morning, its not easy to get up.

Day 9: Casper Mountain. When I was a teenager one of my favorite places to go was the waterfalls. There is a trail that runs up and above them that if you stay on the trail is about 3.5 miles. Of course, this is me we are talking about. So I end up climbing up series of rocks and over trees and around random rocky areas to get to the little water falls that are hidden everywhere up here. I LOVE waterfalls. If I could have a waterfall in my house, I would. Maybe... someday when public educators get paid millions I can do that. hahahaha
Anyways, me legs are kind of tired, and my back unhappy after sleeping on a real bed, so I keep my run short and make it more of a run/hike to make it a quasi rest day. Plus, I have a brunch date with my Grandad.

Which brings me to now, I have to get my car dropped off to get an oil change and then we are headed out to Pathfinder to hang out before going to Grandad's for dinner.

Happy Running! 

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