Larry, Laura, and I usually meet up to do a long run on Saturday mornings. In July Laura asked if I wanted to join them on a long trail run on the Pacific Crest Trail. Larry and Laura wanted to get some altitude and uphill training. I wanted to get a 12 mile run in. Even though I’m not a huge fan of trail running (yet), and I knew nothing about the trail, I decided it might be fun to do the run with them. It would be a little different and I would get to see someplace new. We got up early and started the long drive to the Snoqualmie area, picking Becky up along the way to join us for this particular run.
We parked at the trailhead, applied bug spray, adjusted our hydration systems, and started running up the trail. Within the first mile I started to regret agreeing to this madness. I don’t know what I expected of this trail, but I just imagined an easy meandering trail with birds chirping, lovely forest shade, and maybe an occasional waterfall crossing. After we got back from the run I looked up the statistics and found out that this trail had a 2700 foot elevation gain in only 5 miles. And let me tell you, as if the elevation gain wasn’t hard enough to overcome, the terrain didn’t do us any favors either. Much of the trail was narrow and rocky. And as we got to the higher elevations, snow patches covered the trail at places and we had to carefully climb over the packed snow. I’d say I did much more hiking than running so that I wouldn’t trip over my feet and I could catch my breath from running uphill. But when we got to the top we were rewarded with incredible views; it was one of the prettiest trails I’d been on in a long time.