We spent 2 days in Big Bend National Park - as we tailed the first day, we ventured on a short hike up Lost Mine trail, and since it was drizzling with huge storms a couple miles away, there was hardly anyone. It's so awesome to be able to not be in a rush, stop whenever you want to, read a brochure on the tree or a plant, learn something, touch something, smell everything...As we left the park for the day to our motel, we were treated to a full rainbow! It was going to be a great run-cation...
Thanksgiving Day came with big plans - to see everything (or as much as possible) in Big Bend proper in one big circle. We started at 8 am for a 21 mile journey and were amazed at how beautiful it is in the midst of a Texas desert. We hiked, walked, ran some, scaled an Emory peak (getting down that class 5 scramble is surely its own adventure, and when I climbed it up the wall, I heard Larry saying to some other hikers "I hate my wife" - what I took as a greatest compliment). The people were not too many, and those were friendly and thankful, as the day called for. We ended up running last downhill and making it sharp on 6 hrs, with enough time for a long drive through hell (where God threw up and spewed lava rocks around Earth) to St Elena canyon for a mile walk.
And so we walked, often slowly, stopping to admire the sudden Escarpment drops, talking, being silent and simply still. And thinking how my season of hard racing is behind me, and this is ok with me - this is finally, completely ok with me. How I love now so much more to be alone on the trails, and to be at my own will - and at my own pace. And yet how being trained for those very trail races allows me (us) to have these long back-country explorations, because who else could make 17 miles of rugged terrain in a daylight? I didn't want that day to end...but it did, 7 hrs later.
And so we were left with last morning before embarking on a long arduous drive home. Guadalupe Peak seemed to be fitting perfectly, and since we had scaled it years before (Larry - numerous times), and because our legs felt fresh and spring-y (a by-product of being an endurance runner who wakes up after many miles, or a side effect of a slow "recovery" day before?), we busted up and down with lots of pep for a quick turn-around (and before dozens of hikers began their journey up and a trail was crowded beyond pleasurable).
Full photoalbum of the trip
p.s. On a more boring and numbered side, I had run every day straight last week (after previous 2 weeks as well with only 2 days off) and managed 67 miles for the log! (which I should throw away by now). Must be my longest week this year (not accounting for the races). Who knows, may be it will help me crawl in Tennessee next month!