I'll let you in on a little secret. Take Jaime with you if you ever go on a trail run out there. The guy's a living and breathing trail map. I was simply amazed at how well he knew those trails. He would frequently say things like, "just around this bend it will get a little steep...or it will get technical in about a half mile" and sure enough, he was right. It was comforting since I can't even remember the trail I ran on five minutes prior.
There's still a bunch of snow up there (big surprise!), but this was the first run where the snow was never an issue. When I say perfect day, I mean barely a cloud in the sky, temps in the upper sixties, a gentle breeze, lots of running above 11,000', and almost non-existent people traffic.
I believe we got in about 21 miles over 5.5 hours (my watch battery was dead on arrival, so I think that's what Jaime told me). Our sole focus was to have a fun day playing up high. I had a good laugh at how we were breaking all the conventional running rules about tapering and recovering. Jaime is running the San Francisco Marathon NEXT weekend. And I'm still recovering a bit from Silver Rush LAST weekend. Oh well, we had a blast and are just fine after having a recovery soak in an ice cold creek.
A favorite moment was on the return trip from Diamond Lake and stopping at a small creek just below a snowfield at 11,500'. We were out of water so we filtered some (yeah, I don't like to take chances) and drank. I'm pretty sure I've never tasted better ice water!
|Thought we might have stumbled upon a "Tough Mudder" course.|
|Betty Lake. I told Jaime this is where I'd love to have a tiny shack to live for a summer!|
|King Lake from above|
|Jaime cruisin' the Continental Divide Trail|
|Perfect conditions for running on the CDT.|
|Ah, the colors up high.|
|The Fraser Valley.|
|The trail down from Devil's Thumb Pass.|
|On the way to Diamond Lake. This was THE monster snow field of the day. On the return trip, we started at the top and ran/slid all the way down. Awesome!|
|Final fast stretch through the wildflowers.|
|The BEST recovery!|