Saturday, June 18, 2011

What is that noise?

This morning our group met up with another running group.  A third group consisting of boot campers joined us also.  There were more than 40 runners total.

The plan was to run an 8 mile trail run.  Many of us had never ran these trails (myself included, thing #7 completed).  Someone familiar with the trail was to run ahead and mark it.  I was a little concerned because I am a slower running.  Was concerned that I would be the last person back, and would be running alone.  Luckily Missy came just as we were starting out so I knew I'd have a buddy to run with. 

Missy was literally putting on her watch and situating her bandanna as we started out running.  During the first quarter mile she mentioned she didn't think she was going to like this run.  A little too remote for her....too much nature....said she doesn't like creepy, crawly things....said she doesn't even like to see a lizard.  I thought this was hilarious....maybe we'll see a snake ;)

The trail is tough, much of the beginning was up hill, so steep that we had to walk.  On several occasions I heard Missy mutter "f*ck".  I hate to admit it, but I think the fact that she was hating this run so much made it easier for me.  After about 2-3 miles we started feeling a little less tortured like maybe we'd be able to complete this run.  At one point a man was running in the opposite direction.  After he passed Missy asks "Did you see that?"  I said "I think I did....what did you see?"  She said "He had a prosthetic leg", "Yeah, that's what I thought I saw too".   A couple seconds later she says "God Dammit"  (I am lovin this run!)  She says "That's a sign from God".  Personally, I saw a man with a prosthetic leg (just sayin), although we were inspired to put forth a little more effort after that....well for a little while at least.

We kept following the orange arrows painted on the trail by the fearless leader.  Eventually those arrows lead us down some very steep terrain.  At least we were going down right?  And we kept going down, and down, so steep, had to carefully walk down, afraid of falling on my ass.  And still we kept going down, and down.  Eventually it flattened out a little, faithful orange arrow pointed to go around a fallen tree on the path, and then under another fallen tree, Missy muttered...I think that was poison oak.  I looked around but didn't see anything there. 

We heard voices up ahead....I think we are around mile 4, finally we see the people we were hearing...they are part of our group.  They are saying we've come the wrong way.  There is talk of poison oak, seems Missy was right, when we went around and under those trees there was poison oak there.  Did I touch it?  Did it touch me?  Dang, I don't know.  Julie says do not touch your skin, pour water on it to rinse it.  I am torn between wasting what little water I have left on the slim chance that I did come in contact with the dreaded plant, or saving it to stave off dehydration (now who's the drama queen).

We wait and soon pack leaders come up from the right, yep, they hit a dead end.  Fearless Leader took a wrong turn a ways back and we've been going the wrong way for awhile.  Quite awhile.  We have to turn back the way we've come.  Back under the tree and around the other tree, this time being super cautious not to let any vegetation touch me.  And then it hits me....oh no....all that ridiculously steep downhill that we just traversed....are we going to have to go back up it?  Yep.  I tried to keep myself from thinking about how long we went downhill.  The thought was so overwhelming I'd be tempted to just sit down on the trail and give up.

Several times I had to stop and catch my breath and allow my heart beat to slow down.  Last thing I wanna do is have a stroke out here and have to be airlifted outta there.  One of the boot camp ladies was having a tough time of it.  Nina, Missy, and myself stuck with her, keeping her motivated to keep moving, don't give up, we can do this.  (I'm actually very surprised that the boot camp leader wasn't there making sure all her ladies made it out ok, but that's just my opinion). 

Finally we climbed up outta there and came to a fork in the trail, found a new orange arrow, boot camper Angela looked at me and said "I'm just gonna head to the car now".  Huh?  How do you know where the car is?  She thought the trail not marked with the orange arrow was the path back to the parking lot.  I had no idea, she could very well be right....heck if it were, I'd go back to the car too.  But I am at the mercy of the orange arrows.  Nothing looks familiar to me.  I have no idea how to get back to the car.  I'm not willing to veer from the orange arrows.  I convinced her to keep going.  Unlike with Missy, I was not enjoying the discomfort Angela was experiencing.

As we rounded a corner, I kept hearing a sound....what kind of animal is that?  Sounded like it was coming from the ravine to the left.  Dang, it is loud.  Is is a bull frog? Some kind of bird?  Dang it is sooo loud.  Pterodactyl?  Round another corner, and we see it....Ooooohhhhh......a house on the hill....with half a roof.  Imagine the sound of pulling nails out of wood.  Very, very large nails, from very very large wood, the kind a giant would have.  That's what the sound reminded me of (after seeing the half a roof).  But maybe it was the sound of a pump or least it wasn't a warthog. 

Finally we found the last of the group waiting for us at a bridge.  They gave us the option of taking the short 2.5 mile trail back to the cars or we could do the 5 mile trail.  Missy said she wanted to do the 5 miler, but since we all wanted to do 2 she would sacrifice and just run the 2 miles back. 

Missy and I were so excited to be so close to the cars we practically ran the whole way back...well except for the uphill parts.

We all celebrated being back from our little adventure.  Pictures were taken, stories were told.  Missy asked if I had heard that wildebeast in the ravine (dang, I'm so sorry I missed seeing her face when she heard that!).  Travis did impressions of John (we all so miss John, hurry back from vacation man!).  Margaret made it back safely, with her sense of direction (or lack of) she must have gotten in the middle of the pack and stayed there for dear life.

Driving home I kept thinking, dang I think I'm itching....I should have doused myself with the water.

Thing #7, ran through Powder Canyon, not knowing which way to go, following orange arrows along the way.

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