27 November 2013

iRun(kinda)Far Behind the Rocks

“Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.” 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hunter Canyon
The massive winter storm that moved from CA across the desert southwest last week should have clued me in that my run in Moab might be even more adventurous than I had planned. Here in the Springs, we had sub-freezing temps, icy roads and strong winds to give me added incentive to get out of town asap. 

Meghan had put me on notice that it may be a snowy run so I came prepared. The drive through CO and UT was uneventful with the roads being in great shape and the snow-frosted landscape incredibly beautiful. I captured some of the scenes on my phone and posted on Instagram here, in case anyone's interested.

About 10 miles outside of Moab, the clouds and spitting snow told me that "weather" had arrived. The huge flakes that greeted me in town began to accumulate that night and by the morning I had over 6 inches sitting on top of my car.

Let me pause and mention that we met for dinner Friday night at a fantastic sushi place called Sabaku where I had the Sunshine Roll with the pineapple habanero sauce that's usually put on the Devil's Garden roll. Oh my, was that tasty. If you like sushi, go there. 

Meghan lives at 6,000 feet (Moab is at 4,000) and was pretty much snowed in that morning. She ended up running 4 miles down the road from her cabin where I picked her up and we headed in town for breakfast at the Love Muffin. Since the temps were supposed to warm up into the 40s and the snow was already melting, we decided to head out to the Canyonlands to see if the roads were passable and perhaps stick to our original plan of a 28-ish mile loop in the Island in the Sky district. We found at least a foot of snow near the park entrance and with snow accumulating and the roads not yet plowed, we turned around and headed back to town.

Meghan then suggested that we run a loop in the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area, which is conveniently located near town. We headed out Kane Creek Blvd and parked near Jacksons Trail. The plan was to do around 12-13 miles, much of which was part of the Moab Trail Marathon course which would take us through Pritchett and Hunter Canyons. With the late start to the day, we thought we could get it done by dark. We did... barely.

I had woken up with GI issues (thanks to my kids) but despite the periodic pit stops, difficulty eating, the ankle-deep snow, it really was a glorious afternoon in the canyons. I always find that the visual beauty will be a balm when I'm physically feeling lousy. I have nothing but beautiful memories of the day, so I guess there was enough awesome for me to forget the rough patches.

Some of the photo-worthy moments:  
Meghan, happy to be running finally!
Birthing Scene Petroglyph
Kane Springs Creek

Looking for the hard-to-spot cairns 
Sometimes, you scramble up bum-first

Happy Canyon Runner (Photo: Meghan)
Meghan gapping me after a pit stop

One of several waterfalls along the route
Pritchett Canyon
Sadly, had to pass on this little detour (Photo: Meghan)
Miles made harder by snow!
Tough travels but still smiling!
Descending into Hunter Canyon
The "Vermont" Keyhole
Where the mud began

Mud & slickrock don't mix well

Making nice with the mud
Thanks again to Meghan for showing me more of the canyon beauty around Moab. I feel lucky to have gotten to run there four times in the past year, two of those times with her (see Feb post). Wishing her happy training days as she prepares to defend her title at Marathon de Sables next April.

As for me, I'm counting my Thanksgiving blessings (my list will be posted tomorrow) and tapering for TNF 50 next week. With the onset of training fatigue and some hip pain I've been tending to, it's been a more challenging training cycle. More on that next week.

Lastly, I'll share my new favorite running tune, thanks to my pal Sam. You're welcome.
Happy Thanksgiving!



  1. Great run!you are a true trail bitch! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks, Lori! Happy Thanksgiving to you!