Monday, October 03, 2016

Northwest States & Trails Extravaganza

A few months ago, running buddy Randall contacted me saying she was registered for a trail race in Washington state, was not going to be able to run it and, knowing about my quest to run a trail in every state, would I like her to transfer her entry to me. Why, yes!  With our eldest living in Oregon, what a lovely road trip that would be! Then our long-time friends, Mort & Lysa, heard about our travel plans and we decided it would be even more lovely if we all went as a dynamic duo of RVs. Thus the Northwest States & Trails Extravaganza was hatched. In all, we toured through eight states and I ran trails in seven of them....a fantastic trip!
The NW Traveling Crew: Lysa, Mort, PJ & Kendall (in Nevada)
 Our first stop was at my old boss' farm - where he moved a few years ago. It is quite a change from suburban Denver life and he's jumped in with both feet - and a whole lot of livestock and vegetables!
Boss Bob explaining his garden to Mort and PJ
Wyoming turned into a two-trail state: the first along the shoreline of Buffalo Bill Reservoir along the Shoshone River in Buffalo Bill State Park and the second in the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. So much variety!
Buffalo Bill State Park/reservoir shoreline - September 13, 2016

Old Faithful Geyser Hill trail view - September 14, 2016

Old Faithful Geyser Basin
Old Faithful

Montana & Idaho (September 15, 2016)

While Wyoming was two trails for one state, Montana and Idaho were one trail - the NorPac trail - for two states. My run started at the Lookout Pass Ski Area which straddles the state line. I dipped down into Montana for a few miles & back, then into Idaho for a few miles & back - singing all the way to let the bears know I was coming.
NorPac (Northern Pacific) Trail history sign

Lookout Pass ski area today

Montana side of the NorPac trail - stellar autumn colors

Idaho side of the NorPac trail - a tall-pine corridor
Finishing Idaho - State #9 in the Trail Quest!

Washington (September 17, 2016)
Washington offered the germination of the Northwest Extravaganza idea - all for the Beat the Blerch trail race on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail beginning in Carnation, Washington. And what a race it was! Rain! Mud! Trail! Costumes! Great Great Fun!!!!

Packet pickup time
Costumes galore!

Oh how I love a run in the rain!



I love love love running in the mud!
Finally I get to eat cake!

Oregon gave us a chance to visit our eldest, revel at the magnificence of the Pacific Ocean & Oregon coast, run the 804 trail (part of the Oregon Coast Trail) and visit with Kendall's sister, our niece and her family. A most excellent chunk of the trip!
Cannon Beach visit with Corinne, Devon- and Kendall who is trying not to get pushed into the waves

Niece Shana, her boys Tony & Andrew, sister Cheryl, and Kendall
at Shana's new house in Medford

 And the trail portion of the Oregon adventure (#11 of the Trail Quest) (September 20, 2016)

The "official" Oregon Coast Trail sign
The "804" trail sign

Would you just look at that ocean behind me! Magnificent!!!

California - September 22, 2016
My Rails-to-Trails book claims that the Bizz Johnson trail is arguably the most beautiful of the California rail trails - plus it has tunnels and bridges and follows a river - so how could I pass it up?!




I must confess, Nevada is not my most favorite state and I wondered just where I would find a trail to run that would be fun yet quintessential Nevada. Aha! A Pony Express Trail - to what the BLM describes as "the best preserved Pony Express Station, the Cold Springs Station." Built in 1860, it went out of use when the Pony Express went out of use in 1861. The trail was certainly Nevada-esque: dirt, rock, scrub, lizards (one running right between my legs!), and coyotes howling, yipping & barking just one gully over. At that point, I seriously considered turning around but I figured if my Trail #13 was to be a run to the Pony Express Station I needed to continue on to that Pony Express Station - so I picked up handsful of rocks and on to the Station I went! (No coyotes were ever spotted - but a hare, more lizards, the Cold Springs Station and magnificent views graced the run throughout.)

"XP Trail 1860 1861" marker

Station walls looking southwest

Station walls looking northeast

Nevada view

Armed for coyotes

Nevada! State #13! Done!


And none of these running exploits would be possible without Kendall -
 my partner in life and love - and husband of 41 years as of tomorrow (October 4).

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