I got out to run the 18+ mile Cascade/Paintbrush Canyon loop on Friday. I normally like to start in the morning for these types of runs, to take advantage of my caffeine loading, but I didn’t get on the trail until close to 2 o’clock, under mostly cloudy skies, which made things feel quite seasonal.
The fall colors were gong off right from the start and I kept getting tripped up due to the shear beauty of the Teton Range this time of year distracting me from the trail. I must have taken over ten photos of Mount Owen in the first couple miles, dreaming of the winter season to come. The views just got bigger and bigger as I passed below Valhalla Canyon and into the South Fork of Cascade Canyon. I kept expecting to see a bear as I rounded each corner, but all I saw were a few tourists, who thought I was a bear, until I reached Lake Solitude. From there on…I didn’t see a soul.
I stopped to set up a photo at the lake and eat some Shot Bloks, and had a hard time getting going again. I ran the first half of the trail up towards Paintbrush Divide, but my new Suunto T6 told me that I was just as fast (4 mph) if I kept up a quick power hike, which was a little less taxing. The Grand Teton looked awesome from up here, as the sun occasionally popped out and made it almost look like a painting. I picked up the pace again as the trail levels off and it approaches the 10,720′ saddle.
I was glad when I reached the divide, since it’s almost all downhill from there, but I was a little concerned that the trail on these more north facing slopes would be still covered in snow from the weather of last week. Only a short section was still covered though and I was able to keep the pace down into the canyon. The smallest ribbon of snow had begun to fill-in the Southwest Couloir of Moran, which is still on my tick-list, having skied from within about 500′ of the top on my only attempt after getting sloughed out of the Sandinista in 2006.
I ate a Probar on the go as I pounded down the trail back towards the valley. My stomach wasn’t feeling that well and I wondered if it was from my pre-run meal of strawberry rhubarb pie, a donut left over from last weekends sand skiing trip, and some yogurt that had an expiration date of the 24th printed on it. I stopped for some relief…bear style. I was feeling a little dizzy and short of breath as I powered through the final few miles of the run, and even stopped a couple times to regain my composure. Man I’m out of shape. My time…3:38 CTC (car-to-car)…not my best.
nice photos, looked like a pretty sweet run!
Just gearing up for some running for the next few months (till the next winter!!)Any advice on running shoes, mostly trails, some road.
How was the season in NZ? I’ve had lots of shoes over the years, but Salomon XA Pros are some of my favorites. Light and supportive…and the quicklace system is reliable and easy. I feel like they run a little small…sizewise.