A blurry start to a long day (for me) on the trails...Jody checking in runners
Still blurry, but getting better...
Following Linda VanTilbourg up an early trail...we would be separated shortly after this but ended up finishing together in a group
Kent and Karen following us up the trail. Kent and I went ahead and I got us off trail for a while...even though it has been two years since my last time here, you think I would remember ;^)
The fact that I saw this out of place cattle guard shows that I was off trail...had I realized it at the time, I could have saved about 40 minutes or so of off trail time
Even early on, the legs were taking the abuse...plenty of things to poke and scratch while on these trails...
Following Roy Reisinger about 1/4 of the way through the course
Prickly Pear cactus, nice to look at, not so nice to rub up against...
If you zoom in, you may be able to see the thorns - the same type that tried to exact their 'pound of flesh' as payment for travelling these trails
Still 5 miles from the aid station; fortunately it is cloudy and not too hot
A Cairn, a cairn!
Roy, hammering down the trail (I checked the Pemberton 50k results and found that he has beaten my best time there every time he has run the race)
Start climbing up the canyon toward the aid station
Following Mary, Dave Cauthon decided to do an out and back rather than go through all of the washes and dry stream crossings on the rest of the trail (oh, and a few gnarly climbs)
Roy, pacing himself
Really nice single track - I don't get to run on too much of this in the valley (it's mostly rocky down there)
I think this guys name was Dave, I'm not sure if he was part of our group or just on a training run of his own...
Jody's parents were kind enough to man the aid station at seven springs. It was a nice break, though less than half-way (timewise) to the finish
The clouds threatened, though they didn't do more than provide some welcome shade on this day
Just follow 247 back to 4 then turn left...
Jody had marked the trail well, though somebody had removed most of the flagging the first 5 or 10 miles. She did remove it the next day.
I would hate to have to cross this wash with any water flowing in it - that is why last year's run was cancelled
First wildflower sighting of the year.
More marked trail, still on course (for now)
More perfect single-track, just pick up your feet and you won't get any sand in your shoes...
Still moving along, thanking the clouds for the shade, hoping they don't open up on us
Result of the fires in 2005
More trail damage...remember, "If you don't return bleeding, it wasn't a real trail run" (I think Blake Wood said this, though he may have been quoting somebody else...)
more marking, still on trail
Karen and Linda follow along, still on trail (for now...)
Major trail junction
Just a trickle in this wash right now...
I don't think we're on trail anymore...don't worry, we'll find our way back
The final damage
some of the nasty bushes even wrap around behind your legs and scratch the back of your legs too
Somehow we ended up getting in front of Roy (he ended up getting a little off trail for a short while too) Linda and Karen smiling that they made it back without anybody having to look for them