Sat 21 Apr 2007
The Manti LaSal Mountains loom large over the city of Moab.
It was a lot of fun. I ran every day. As the Jeeps would follow the trail I would run alongside (or ahead or a bit behind).
These pictures are from the first day when we took the Moab Rim trail.
I ran up and down that very steep incline from the Kane Creek road to the Mesa top. The Jeeps were negotiating some precarious rock face obstacles mere inches from the edge. We had our first incident that day. One Jeep was coming down a steep that caused the Jeep to camber to the point of unbalance. I was able to hop on the back bumper (along with two other people) and keep it from flopping on its side.
The scenery here is just amazing. There is so much to see and do. There are two national parks. Arches and Canyonlands. There are hiking, biking and Jeep trails all over the area. You can rent many vehicles, or get a shuttle service to drop you off and pick you up. I ran the following trails during my time there this last week.
Saturday – Fins n Things
Sunday – Moab Rim
Monday – Poison Spider, Golden Spike & Gold Bar Rim.
Tuesday – Hell’s Revenge
Wednesday – Behind The Rocks
Thursday – Cliff Hanger
Friday – Klondike Bluffs, Glenwood Canyon
The group was finishing lunch as I ran ahead to the Launchpad obstacle on the Golden Spike trail. On Golden Spike, one of the Jeeps negotiated a steep step incorrectly and rolled their vehicle (360 degrees). He was able to drive it out, but it did sustain some major damage (windshield, back window, roof, hood and door damage). Later on the same trail system, another rig sheared off his lug bolts on his driver side rear tire. He said he knew that something was wrong as he watched his tire just fall over in his mirror. They pulled off his other rear tire, popped out 3 of the 6 lug bolts, installed them on the other side and drove it out (slowly and carefully).
Friday was a great day running. I ran the Klondike Bluffs trail in the morning from Highway 191 to the slickrock. It was cooler weather but not so cool that you had to bundle up. There were bicycle shuttles and Mountain Bikers all over the place. Many of them commented that I was faster than they were. Now that is affirming!!!
I-70 goes through Glenwood Canyon between Dotsero, Colorado and Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It is a beautiful canyon that ended up being the last finished portion of the national interstate highway system. It is deep and was treacherous to build in. To take advantage of the natural sights and beauty of this trail there is an exercise trail that runs the length. I ran part of that in the afternoon.
I had two runs that were my favorites of the week. My favorite was Cliff Hanger. This picture is of the Jeep group for that day sitting on the edge of the cliff. I ran the entire trail from the final overlook to the beginning of the trail. The Jeeps were slow in their negotiation of the trail, so I ran back up to meet them! There is a real sensation of splendor and exuberance in realizing that you are experiencing this country in a way that only a runner can experience!
The other was Behind The Rocks. I ran for mile after mile feeling wonderful as the miles flew by under my feet and experiencing the kind of scenery that red rock country can give to a person.
I would like to explain how I ran. First of all, you will be able to see that I don’t always have water with me. I did not need to carry it as my Shuttle service were always within a mile of me. I never went more than 5 feet off of the trail (unless everyone was together). That was for safety. If anything happened to me, they would be able to find me as they came along. The situation worked out great for me! Next year, we’ll take the FRS radios. I have one that is a wrist watch and easy to carry. Remember to be safe back-country.
I was referred to at one point as the “Trail Bloodhound.” Trails are not always marked as clearly as they could be. On Behind The Rocks, after the “White Knuckle Hill” obstacle (a vertical drop of about 6 feet). The group took what appeared to be the trail but it abruptly petered out. We back-tracked but lost the trail again. Kiddingly, over the CB radio, one of the drivers said to send Charlie, the trail bloodhound out. I ran out to an edge and sighted the trail on the valley floor. I back-tracked it to a series of “difficult access ledges” and we were soon on our way out of the back-country.
Of course, as these things go, I ended up being called the Trail Dog. It emulates those with dogs that have them run alongside their rig. Oh well!!