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Showing posts from September, 2015

Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach 55K Race Report

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It's just another race, what's there to be afraid of?

1. Getting lost: because I knew it was a small race and wasn't sure there would be other runners around to follow if I was unsure about the route, this was the part that I was worried about the most.

2. Wild animals: bears, mountain lions, bison, snakes.

3. The elevation: the course starts at 7500', goes up to 8500, down and up a little and down to 6500.

So with those three worries on my mind, who had time to worry about running 55K and whether or not trying fairly new fuel (it worked on an 18 miler so it should work on a 55K, right?) would work out!

Getting There: Since Flagstaff was on the way home back to Texas for my husband and I, who have been traveling in our RV for nearly 4 months, I ran the Stagecoach 55K trail race today which started in Flagstaff. The name of the race mentions the GC, but only the 100 mile racers ran up to the Grand Canyon (Tusayan, actually, which is south of the GC).


Expo/Packet Pick-up:…

Grand Canyon's North Rim

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I've been to the south rim of the Grand Canyon a few times, but now I can say that I've also been to the north rim, too. Angels Window, in the top photo, is one of my favorites here at the north rim.

Both my husband and I like the north rim a lot. It's less crowded and I don't think that's just because of the time of the year because we just left Zion and Bryce National Parks which were both really busy. Even on the top of hard-to-get-to Zion's Angels Landing, there was a crowd!



The north rim has a lodge, restaurant, cafe and visitor center. There's even a general store where they sell GU and Honey Stinger gels and Clifbloks - maybe for those runners doing the Rim to Rim. I want to hike that someday!

We drove to the outlooks and went on short hikes, which got me nearly 10,000 steps on my Fitbit. When we got back to the Kaibab Camper Village RV park, where we're staying, I ran 4 miles. It was short, but maybe a little too hilly, because I'm tapering…

I Survived Angels Landing!

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We finally made it to the top of Angels Landing, in Utah's Zion National Park, after hiking for 2 1/2 hours. Here I am taking a parting picture after a 15 minute rest at the top. That's my husband beneath the tree starting back down the trail. There were a few places where you thought you were nearly finished, but you really weren't. There was much more climbing to do. Climbing up to the top was harder than I remembered it being when we climbed it 11 years ago - big surprise!


There were a couple of times when I wondered if I could make it all of the way up the mountain. I had to use my arms to lift myself up to the higher stepping spots in the rocks because my short legs couldn't reach the next place to step, and a couple of times, I asked my husband to give me a push up the rocks. My arms are still tired two days later.

As I was hanging onto the chain on the side of the cliff so I wouldn't fall more than 1400 feet to the ground, I had a couple of those scary mome…

Utah: Escalante and Bryce Canyon

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We've visited Escalante and Bryce Canyon (top photo) in the last couple of days on our RV trip through many states from our home in Texas...
It was my first visit to Escalante State Park. We found a slot canyon to walk through on Burr Trail Road - at first I missed it and drove about 10 miles out of the way. Oops. The unexpected trees in the slot canyon and the orange-red rock was something I've always dreamed of seeing.




We visited the small Anasazi State Park Museum, too. We saw the remains of an 800 year old pueblo and I walked inside a small replica of a home, too. 


We drove for a couple of hours up and down 45 mile long Hells Backbone Road and looked down into a another canyon. I'm so sleepy lately that somehow I kept falling asleep on that bumpy road. At least I wasn't driving.


I'll never grow tired of seeing those rock formations at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. After sightseeing there, we drove back to the KOA RV Park in Cannonville where we're sta…

Moab Area: So Much to See!

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Utah is beautiful! I've been in Moab, Utah, for the last few days. Every morning when I step out of the RV and see those red cliffs, I'm impressed by the beauty. My husband and I have visited Arches National Park with the arches and windows (top photo).


We visited Canyonlands National Park where we stopped for a picnic lunch. 
I did a long run of 18.5 miles through Moab, over the bridge in the photo and on the bike trail towards Arches National Park. If you stay here and you're a runner or biker, you'll want to stay on the north end of town, unlike what we did, so that you'll be closer to the bike trail.

The next day, I ran 11.5 miles with some hillwork included - so tiring!


We camped near Arches National Park last night at Big Bend campground beside the Colorado River. We didn't have any wifi, or RV hook-ups, but it was nice and peaceful there and I got some cleaning done.



We visited Goblins State Park today. Fun to see those rock formations! Our Weimaraner l…

CO Running: Fort Collins, Estes Park, Grand Junction

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Just three days before going on my very first back country hiking trip, I ran 18 miles and then I ran a 10 miler the next day- both in Fort Collins. I ran the 18 miler around a lake at the KOA campground where we stayed in our RV. I used 3 servings of EFS Liquid Shot and it worked great. (Here's a great post on running and using EFS.)

The next day, I ran 10 miles at Reservoir Ridge. My legs were heavy after the long run the day before, but running in a new place was fun - so was spotting some deer and seeing the miniature horse on the way to the trail.
On Sunday, we drove to Estes Park, packed for our back country hike and rested up for the big hike.

After hiking for three days, the next day I ran 9 miles and then 5 miles on the following day at Lake Estes. During my run, I saw a few elk and a possible coyote. They ignored me and everyone was happy!

This morning, I ran 8 miles in Grand Junction, Colorado, just before taking off in our RV for Moab, Utah, where we are now. It's…

Back-country Hiking in RMNP

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I just returned from a back-country hiking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado with my husband. It was my first experience to hike into the back-country and spend the night. We were gone three days and two nights.

Our hike began on the West side of the park at the North Inlet Trailhead. On our first day, we hiked ten miles to the July campground where we spent the night and saw moose along the way. We arrived wet and cold because it had rained much of the day. I was so happy to take off my wet socks. I woke up at 4 AM to the sound of some moose calls, but got back to sleep quickly.


The next day, we only had to hike back down the mountain for three miles to get to our second camp site at Porcupine. That's good because we both had sore legs - a hurt calf for my husband and a hurt knee for me. To get to the site, we hiked across a long, wooden log (top photo). We were excited to have a firepit there, but it's hard to keep a fire going with wet wood. The creek was be…

Yellowstone National Park

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We had a great time in YNP! My husband and I stayed there for about ten days during our RV trip and it was one of our favorite places. We saw too many geysers, bison and elk to count. Plus, we saw a pelican, a marmot, wolves (so far away that they looked like brown dots). Most exciting of all, we saw a grizzly bear!


After digging around in some dirt in the meadow, he ran up the hill towards the crowd of people and crossed the street. Maybe he was tired of being stared at by hundreds of people!



Did you know that there's a Grand Canyon in Yellowstone National Park? We visited the canyon by ourselves, just my husband and I, and then again with friends visiting from home because it's that impressive!


You knew there were bison in the park, but do you know how terrifying it is when hundreds of them suddenly change direction and start running towards your car? I was relieved when they decided to run around the car and not into it!

We hiked up Elephant Back trail where you can see fo…