My, it's so dark early in the mornings lately, and will only get worse. Where are the dyas when I am on trail at 6 am and it's already light? Mike picked me up at 6, and by the time we arrived at Trapper Creek trailhead on Washington State side of Columbia River Gorge - it was still dask. Can you believe Bushwhacker was wearing double-layers? Must have been really cold at the start:) We took off, and the trail rolled gently in the first couple of miles, so I was making effort to run when I am supposed to.
I love these hours just before the sunrise, I am a totally morning person, not even morning, but exactly that - the wee hours as the plum night turns to grey. It is such a special feeling...
The trail started getting steeper, but what a beautiful place it is! This time of the year is great to explore new sites, and I had only been on WA side a couple of times (once for Dog Mtn and once pacing Horton at his PCT crossing from OR). It is definitely less traveled than our usual places where we run all the time.
An eye candy of a trail! Soft, green, dense...we watched the sun rise and throw bright rays here and there where it could get through the lush of trees. The climb got steeper, and of course I managed to take a detour trail and add on some distance - I HAVE to get lost when I run:) Eventually we approached a gorgeous view on the waterfall on the other side, and this beauty reminded me of Yosemity fall, just smaller.
After that we had a bit more of runnable ground, along the bear grass (what a treat, so wonderful to touch and to any senses!) Crossing a creek on the log always provides a challenge for me - I have no coordination on this things! I wonder how I manage to run downhill between rocks and roots and not fall (for the most part anyway, at least I am catching myself safely). One last grueling climb, that lasted what seemed to be forever (may be 20 min?), and we are at the top. How spoiled we were that day with the weather and magnificent views all around! Oregon has an Indian summer, I bet, right now, and the best day to venture was picked. Wow!
Catching my own shadow:)
After 3 hrs of climb and 15 min break we took on a long winded downhill. At first I felt fine, but then either it was weight lifting from Friday, non enough recovery from SD 30 miles, absent of regular training or general tiredness, I had to let Mike go. I went deep into my thoughts and shuffled on this pine-needle covered trail all by myself, for a whole hour, without any sign of civilization, only birds and trees, and maple leave covered trail, and trees surrounding close in...
Too fast and blurry? Nah, just my camear fakes on me:)
At the end of a trail Mike lead me to a surprise statue - from afar it looked almost scary, surely unexpected. I was really done at this point, and was happy to walk last half a mile to the car. It was a beautiful day, yet another one spent on trail, with friend, fully submerged to "being".
After that I took Stephen to a pool and to a movie. We had a great time - and my camera was still acting up on me:)