Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Big Changes...

So, I haven't written for almost a month now, but it's not because there hasn't been anything going on.  Quite the contrary; there's been so much going on, I haven't really had much time to blog (figuratively...I understand that in actuality, I had plenty of time, it just hasn't been high on my priority list).  For that, I apologize...not sure to whom...myself I guess (unless there is anyone else besides my wife who actually reads this thing.

Anyway, we've moved.  Going from coastal North Carolina to where we are now is about a different a change as you can make.  We are pretty much right on the edge of the Mojave desert, in 29 Palms, California.  It's hot here, like, over 100 hot.  I don't really mind it, but I'm not sure the wife is much of a fan.  I'm excited though, because I love everything outdoors this area has to offer, more to come on that in a bit.

Since the last time I posted, we've done quite a bit of traveling, going from my folks house in Indianapolis all the way out to where we are now.  We did it over 4 or 5 days, to try and break it up and make it a little more enjoyable.  And, I have to admit, I wanted to get a chance to run in every place we stopped.

Our first stop was Topeka, Kansas.  Now, I will admit that I didn't expect much but a sidewalk run in Topeka.  To my delight, when we pulled off the interstate to our hotel exit, we passed right by what looked to be a good little park with some walking trails.  After checking in, I laced up my shoes and took off for the park. 

I was very pleasantly surprised.  This little park quickly turned from open, paved walking trails to dirt trails winding through the woods into a state park.  Very happy about that!  I always love finding accidental trail runs.  This turned out to be a good one.  Although, I didn't know the trails very well, and got just a little bit lost.  I was a little worried I wasn't going to find my way out of the woods before dark, then I would be really screwed.  But, after just picking a trail and sticking with it, I oddly enough ended up in a homeowners front yard, about 1/2 mile down the street from my hotel.

Next, we stopped in Aurora, Colorado.  I've never been to that area, so it wasn't really what I expected.  I guess I always thought the Denver area was going to be full of mountains and trails everywhere, but that is certainly not the case.  We couldn't even see the mountains through all the haze and smog.  Nonetheless, I decided there were still some good hills on some of the streets, so I laced up again and took off. 

After about a mile running down a sidewalk along a busy street, I came across an old dried up canal, that had a trail running along side it.  As it would turn out, a trail surprise again!  Now, this one (can't remember the name of it) was more of an "urban" trail, but at least it was nice to get away from the exhaust fumes.  I didn't get to see lots of prairie dogs, so that was cool. 

Next stop, Salina, Utah.  Not really much to say about Salina.  I'm sure there probably were some good trails there, but to be honest, it was an off training day, and I was exhausted anyway.  Instead, we just checked into the hotel, and then hit up Denny's for some grub, there really weren't many other options.  I will say, I did appreciate the scenery of the surrounding mountains there.

After a stop in Utah, we made one more day drive to our last stop before reaching our destination.  This time, the stop was in Las Vegas...well, Henderson, actually.  I did a short workout at the hotel, before we headed down to the strip for some dinner, and to take in all the Vegas lights at night.  After seeing the obligatory fountain show at the Bellagio, and the pirate show at Treasure Island, and all the other Vegas must-sees, we turned in for the night. 

Since I knew we were going to have a short drive the next day (about 4 hours), I woke up early the next morning and headed out to near Boulder City, to Bootlegger Canyon.  Awesome place to run.  Got in some good climbing, on some good single track trails, and it wasn't very crowded (probably because I was there at 7 am on a Sunday morning).  They do run a 50k ultra there, so after downloading the course route to my Garmin, I ran part of the loop.  That was a great place to run.

Now we have arrived in 29 Palms, and finally starting to get settled in our temporary housing (by temporary, I mean 4-6 months until housing on base is available).  I've already been getting some good runs in here, and I'm very excited to get some more.  Literally 10 minute drive from my front door is Joshua Tree National Park, that has TONS of awesome trails I have been taking advantage of, and plan to continue to do so.

This past Saturday, I did an 8-miler on a trail that combines hills, soft sand, technical single track, and scrambling through a canyon all to get to an Oasis, it was awesome.   Sunday I did a 17 miler (a first for me) through the desert in 100 degree heat climbing through washes and technical routes, and it was awesome.  This weekend is 18, and I can't wait. 

There's going to be a ton of great running, hiking, scrambling, bouldering, climbing, camping, and just being in Joshua Tree Nat'l Park.  I pretty pumped about it.  I've bought a book that describes all the trails, and if I don't want to do one of those, I'll just go off-trail and make my own.  I've already decided I want to hike and/or run every named trail in the park, and tag every peak in the time that I'll be here.  I know it will be easy over 2-3 years, so I guess I'll just have to do it multiple times, and using multiple routes.  All I know is that this is an area I'm going to get my use out of for sure.

In the meantime....Keep Running!

No comments:

Post a Comment