Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why do I trail run?

A picture is better than millions of words.  This picture captures why I trail run......

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lions and Tigers and Bears! What next??

So on today's trail run, it was a fox.

A mangy looking, scrawny fox....but he happily left us alone!  I also got attacked by two hummingbirds.  Apparently after running for an hour in the foothills I smell like a flower.  Unfortunately, the picture did not turn out. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What is THAT??


Today's trail run was a day to "mix things up".  We decided to do a loop we have done numerous times but in the opposite direction.  Sometimes when you do this, you discover that they way you have been running it is MUCH more difficult.  So we were going to start by running Toll Road to the Ridge, Shane's Loop in Clockwise Direction, then end with Buck Tail.  Good plan.

We headed up to our parking lot to start when we turned the corner about to pass the Veteran's Cemetery on Mtn Cove road.  We encountered a strange sight.  A Sheriff was slowly walking up the road with his hand on his holster.  He heard our car, turned and held up his hand for us to stop!  Then he made a scary, angry, do what I say face, and motioned us to go back and stay back.
Michele carefully started to back up.  Our imaginations began to EXPLODE!  Is there a mass-murderer on the loose?  Someone dangerous up here killing runners?  What is going on.  As Michele was wondering aloud of all the things it could be I pointed my finger and yelled, "BEAR!!!!"

Up ahead a big black bear emerged! I couldn't believe it! I made Michele stop so I could try and get a picture.  This is as close as we could get.
Obviously we would not be able to park where we had intended.  But we were STILL going to run!  Another police officer arrived as we exited our car and headed off in the OPPOSITE direction.

The different start only changed our run in one small way.  Originally we would have been able to run DOWNHILL on the Mtn Cove Trail before we hit Toll Road.  Our new situation forced us to start immediately on Toll Road, which meant UPHILL!! 
It was TOUGH.  This was one time when running the opposite direction was brutal!  It felt like we were climbing forever with no breaks!  Both of us felt like are legs were about to fall off any second!  When we got to the junction for Shane's Loop we had had enough!  No more of this NEW junk!  We are running Shane's Loop Counter Clockwise he way we ALWAYS do .... the way we KNOW!!!
I think what compounded the toughness of this run today were several factors:
1. We saw a BEAR!!! We were a little nervous about the fact that it could have possible eluded the Sheriff and Police officers and could come bounding up the trail at any moment.
2.  It was HOT!!  Now I don't meant it felt warm that morning.  No! It was 9 AM and already in the 80s!!  I do NOT do well in the 80s.
3.  Because if the BEAR, we had to re-route our intended plan and start right away on a killer steep and long hill with NO warm up!!  This is tough on your legs.
But, no excuses, we just needed a humbling run to remind us that the trails are the boss.
We saw a few "chicken" runners who knew about the bear.  They did an out and back.  One lady in particular had two dogs with her and she was terrified.  She seemed mostly concerned about the bear getting her dogs.  I saw things differently.  To me the dogs would provide a necessary distraction to give yourself time to get away. Sorry, but the runner's life trumps the dogs in my option.  Anyway, she ran ahead of us and then at the top of Shane's loop we saw her coming back.
"Did you see the bear?" I asked.  No she did not, but she didn't want to finish the loop because it would go by where the bar was last seen and her dogs weren't worth the risk.  So, she was running safely, smartly, and using good judgment when she turned and headed back out.  What will we do.....
Complete the loop!!  We never seem to take the route of most wisdom.
Running down Buck' Tail was wonderful!  All downhill and smooth.  My legs were thanking me with every step.  We were still dying of heat though!  My cheeks were bright red and Michele started to run out of water.  But this run was short so we were in no risk of death (this time).  Michele was so hot that she announced, "I think I have hypothermia!"  I didn't answer, I knew what she meant ad I wondered how long it would take her to catch her mistake.  It only took a few strides, "I mean Heat Stroke!!"

Reaching the car safely we discovered 4 more Sheriff SUVs and a fish and game truck. A small crowd of runners had also gathered.  We were back just in time to see them shoot the bear with a tranquilizer dart.  It had taken them an hour and half to get him and it was over a mile from where we first saw him!  WOW!

So now we can add black bear to the creatures we have seen on the trails.  I am also re-naming Three Bears Trail to just..

Seeing ONE bear is plenty.

Channel 7 put up an online article about the bear..... you can read it HERE

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Today was a GREAT day to run.  Not because the fires in Mountain Home have coated our skies with smoke, not because I forgot my Garmin watch, not because Kris has injured her Achilles, not because Michele was supposed to be babysitting, not because my daughter was home puking.  No, not for any of those reasons. Today was a GREAT day to run because.....

File:Birthday candles.jpg
 I of course was showered with gifts and various versions of "Happy Birthday" by my SOLE SISTERS.  They are so awesome!!  Running with them is truly a gift and I am grateful for them.
Michele was in charge of the 'theme' for this month's run.  I have always wanted to run to Stack Rock.   that was our destination for the day.  Her theme therefore became...
Then she presented us with these way cool rocks!

Super cool right?  We oohed and aahed over them as Michele buckled our new running partner in to his seat.
Just kidding!  This is her Grandson who we drove over for Great-Grandma to watch so that we could run.  He wouldn't make it at the mileage we were doing today.

When Michele dropped him off she got back in to the car laughing.  Apparently as Mom took him she asked if Michele had seen the sun this morning, as it was very red. "That means death, destruction and the end of the world."  So yes, a great day to run!


We were off!  Headed up Bogus Basin road.  This is a brand new area of trails for us.  None of us have ever been running up here.  Kris' husband Mr. Tortoise bikes up there and he said we were crazy and would just get lost.  After all this time he STILL doubts our abilities!

It was getting pretty smoky as we climbed and Michele and Kris were already planning their retreat plan.  I was determined to stick with it no matter what!  We stopped about half way up Bogus Basin road to take a picture of the view (or lack thereof) of the Boise valley below.

As I rolled my window back up Kris announced, "Ok now I can really smell the smoke worse! This may be a bad idea." 
"Kris," I said, "My window was down!"
That was met with a smack on my shoulder and a loving "Shut your face!" comment

The higher we climbed the more the smoke cleared.  When we got to the trail start (which is not a trail head marked, just a random trail at a slow vehicle turnout)  the smoke had cleared significantly.  We were not sure if we were at the right place or not.  What do you do if you are not sure if it's the right trail?  Well you start running it of course, that's the only way to find out!!

Once we realized that this WAS a trail and it was an AWESOME trail, we also realized that we were really in the forest too.  "I have no pepper spray."  I announced. "It has no more power and just spits out a tiny stream."  Michele was shocked that I had sprayed it just to test it out.  "Well, how else are you sure it will work when a wild beast is about to eat you?"  So Michele decided to test hers.  She whipped it out and started to aim and spray.  Kris and I took off in separate directions yelling "Let us move first!"  Luckily we got out the way in time and yes, her spray works.  Though after she sprayed it so much and TWICE, I'm not sure how much is left.

From here we started to really enjoy our run.  But then SUDDENLY we realized "wait a minute!  This is all downhill!!"
Now a novice trail runner would be excited to be running downhill, it's so much easier.  But we are NOT novice trail runners any more.  We knew a very important fact;

When you are running downhill on an out and will be going UPHILL on the back!!!  So as we flew down the hill Kris wisely yelled out, "This is going to be a Booger on the way back!!"

It soon flattened out and Kris need a bathroom break.  When she told us she also added that we were not allowed to ask why.  So of course I asked "WHY?" "Because!" was the response.  So we waited with our backs turned as I threatened to take pictures.  After that Kris was feeling too warm in her long sleeved shirt.  She took it off.  We tied it to a tree.  That way when we were coming back it would be a sign that we were on the right trail.
On a quick side note....Look how beautiful these trails are!!

Ok, so to update our run thus watch for me (still bummed about that), pepper spray works but may now be out of spray, Kris has shed a layer and announced that at every mile someone is taking off an article of clothing....WHOA!  What kind of run is this going to be anyhow?  I voted no on that idea real quick!

The trail stayed flat awhile some subtle hills and was very enjoyable UNTIL....

Michele climbing S.L.O.W.L.Y up the hills
We came to the Stack Rock Loop.  Our trail guide book had recommended that we go left.  So, left we went.  After some time of walking so slow I felt like I wanted to CRAWL up the never ending hill of steep neverendingness.  There was a bird that was really tweeting loudly and alot.  "That bird is laughing at us," Michele growled. 
This hill was SO STEEP!!  I tried to some the competitive speed walking.  You know the kind that has your hips really swinging.  It was actually easier to walk up the hill that way then to just simply trudge up it like we were.  But I wasn't going to do that the entire time, most likely I'd injure something.  So, I trudged on.  I started to wonder why Stuebner had recommended that we go left.  Did he do that to secretly kill off curious trail runners one by one so that he could have this trail loop to himself? If that was his plan, it was just about to work on three SOLE sisters!

 But then FINALLY!  We reached STACK ROCK!!  One look and the climb was worth it!

Kris trying to call doubting Mr. Tortoise to tell him that we MADE IT!

Michele got her foot stuck climbing the rocks!

These pictures cannot quite grasp the beauty of this rock formation.  It was breathtaking!  And just think how many people don't get to enjoy such beauty because they don't know it's there or they are physically unable to get to it.  I am so glad we got to see it today.  What a GREAT B-day gift!!

We continued to follow Stuebner's suggestion of going clockwise around the rocks.  We realized he was RIGHT!  The trail for most of the way back was wonderful!  The smoke did start to bother Kris a bit.  She said she wished that she had brought her inhaler.  Michele offered her pepper spray but for whatever reason Kris declined.  I was still a bit remiss about forgetting my watch.  "Hey, " Michele said, "Why don't you use your map my run app on your fun."  Are you kidding me? Why didn't she suggest that when we started!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why are we so stupid sometimes?

 So I did get some record of the run for the last 3 miles at least!

The climb out wasn't nearly as back as the climb we had mid-way through the trail run.  We ran and walked intermittently.  We all started to feel loopy and tired.  I felt like I was on the last mile of a marathon! This was definitely a tough run for me to do today.  Michele began to point out poison ivy to me.  Kris yelled out, "I hope there wasn't any where I went to the bathroom earlier!" That wouldn't be funny, but yet it would.

FINALLY, we reached Kris' shirt!  We knew from here there was only .66 miles of climbing to go!
After a while Michele yelled, "There's my car!  That is the most wonderful thing I've ever seen!"  Now Michele is not insanely in love with her car, she was just really tired! 

We tried to get back to breathing normally as we waited for Kris.  Her foot was hurting and she was taking it slower on the hill.  She had read about her injury online and it said DO NOT DO ANY HILLS!!  Whoops.  So we waited for her.  When she was about 50 feet from the car she started to yell for help, "Somebody call 911! I need a medic! Help!" 
Don't worry....she was fine!

As we headed home we began to wonder why the past two birthday runs have been such killers?  Kris' was Bruneau and mine today.  On Michele's birthday she was lounging in a castle in Scotland.  Well next year that is going to change!  Kris and I are going to start planning NOW!

Thank you for a memorable and wonderful birthday!  39 years young and fabulous!


Monday, August 12, 2013


Today was an easy trail run.  Michele had just recently gotten back from running the Dublin Rock and Roll Half- Marathon (yes in Ireland) and I had just returned from a week long family vacation.  So we were both tired form vacationing.

Before I write about the trail run.... WooHoo to Michele and her race!!

 She said it was interesting to be around SO MANY people!!!  I definitely do not like crowds like this!

We planned a Saturday Trail Run and headed to Camel's Back.  That's a nice easy trail run for when you haven't been at it for a while.  Like usual, the first 1.5 miles is a killer!

 Michele ran in her new race shirt which is a super neon and nice looking. 

Red cliffs are blocked by Michele's thumb!!

Today was a unique run because we saw something we have NEVER seen before on the trails.....

First I stopped and took a great picture of it.
Then I put my phone away and went to grab it. 
Michele started to yell at me to knock it off!  She said it was upset and to leave it alone.
I catch snakes at my house all the time.

"I can easily grab it," I said.
"I know, but don't!"  Michele exclaimed as the snake slithered away.

As we resumed our run I said, "You know I was going to grab it and then chase you with it." 
"I know you were!"  Michele yelled.  "Why do think I was yelling at you to leave it alone!"

In retrospect, I should have grabbed it.