Boise Foothills and other stuff
Well it’s been a while since I’ve written and I have to say it’s not because I haven’t been doing anything, I’ve just been a little flat. I think sometimes without an immediate goal in front of me I tend not to focus on running and fitness but more on life issues, which is good since during my training this past summer I sort of tuned those things out.
I know the title of this blog is about Boise and the run I did there and I will get to that, but I have to tell you what I’m doing right now.
Right now, even as I type I’m watching an amazing documentary called, “Ultramarathon Man: 50 Marathons, 50 States, 50 Days”. It’s a story about Dean Karnazes and his project to run 50 marathons in 50 days to raise awareness of obesity in our kids as well as just kids being overweight in general.
Well I have to tell you…this is a great motivational movie. And it was great to see Dean interact with everyone and he is what he appears to be; a guy who loves running and people, and treats everyone with respect, no matter their stature or place in the world. To him everyone is amazing and has amazing stories to tell about why they run, whether it’s an experienced runner or jogger.
Right now he’s running in Alaska and encountered a huge lower leg of a moose on day 16 of this 50 day event as they were running. Dean asked where did that come from? And a runner next to him pointed off to the left of the trail, and said, probably from that bear right over there. And sure enough there was a bear gnawing down on the remains of the moose. Amazing.
I want to make a strong recommendation: Go to your local library or hop on over to Amazon and order two things: 1. The book called “Ultramarathon Man” and rent the movie I’m watching right now. You will not be disappointed. Dean is an amazing individual and is a great story-teller in the book and a down to earth guy in the movie. His influence in running should not be taken for granted and probably should get more media attention as most all his runs are for charity.
Okay…I’ve said enough about Dean, but really, read the book and watch the movie. Amazing.
Now, so let’s talk about Boise and the fantastic foothills. Each time we travel to Boise to visit family I look up at the foothills and say, “I’ve gotta run those hills!”. And this trip during the Thanksgiving weekend was no exception. We had a wonderful time with family and ate some gerrrrrreat food, and on Saturday the weather was cold and the sky clear. A couple of years ago when we were there I ran the trail and came to a fork and had to choose which way to go. One way lead up to a tower and the other went up and down for about 13 miles with rolling hills. I was a little short on time that day and said someday I’ll come back and do the tower trail (Lucky Peak Trail). Well, Saturday after Thanksgiving was that day.
The weather in Boise had been mild but rainy and the trail was very muddy and the 1st 1/5 mile was red sticky clay and the more I ran the taller I became. Finally I had to scrap off all the mud and try and find grass to run on. What was interesting was I was listening to a podcast by “The AgeGrouper” folks and they were talking about how the sport of Triathlon had changed how they did other things in their lives. One of the things that Jeff mentioned was he tended not to give up on things too soon. He felt as a result of putting in so many miles of training that if things got a little tough he’d just tuck his head down and keep going. So, that’s what I did, I just hunkered down, and pretty soon I was out of the sticky mud and flying down the trail.
Oh what a glorious day! I love that God has blessed me with the love of running and being outdoors. What a way to spend a Saturday morning!
I came to a spot where there was a make shift water trough that was overflowing with water. As I looked up toward the tower I saw a heard of elk. Probably around 20 to 25 or more.
You probably can’t see in this photo, but perhaps if you click on it and enlarge it you might spot them on the right side of the photo near the top. Since they sort of stood in my way I thought I had better get them moving so I wouldn’t encounter them at the top, so I yelled out, “Yoh! Elk!”, in true Rocky style. It took about two seconds for my voice to get to them and all of a sudden as one they all jumped and started moving quickly to the top of the hill and hopefully over the top and down the other side. I was nervous that I might meet up with the boss at the top and I sure didn’t want to do that.
I continued on around the corner and up the trail and soon came to my 1st real amount of snow and a spooky dark forest. Normally I’m not nervous about being out in the woods alone as I’ve had my share of lonely runs, but the words of my sister-in-law came ringing back to me from the night before; “Be careful up there…I’ve seen cougar tracks up in the foothills”. Great. Just what I wanted to hear. Now I know how my wife felt on our honeymoon when I had her start hiking out to the main road by herself because the car wouldn’t start. As she was leaving I said, “Hey hon, if you hear any noise in the forest it could be a mountain lion so be careful”. Yeah..now I understand.
When I reached this point I stopped and was wondering what I should do. I ran back to the corner to see if that guy who I’d seen a few times when looking back down the hills was still following me and close, but I didn’t see him. So I just shouted a few times and took off running as fast as I could through the ever-deepening snow. As I was about halfway through I heard a noise off to my left and stopped (my heart almost did to) and it was a large elk bounding down the mountain side. Whew… I started up again and took a few more steps when I heard another sound off to my right, and it was another elk taking off up the hill. Shesss! Don’t they know I’m trying to run here?! GOSH!
So finally I ran out of the spooky forest and found myself in the sun again, yes! The snow was the deepest here, probably around 12 inches or so, so I wasn’t really running at this point, more like plodding. Again…memories of our honeymoon.
I kept plodding along and finally the trail cleared and the tower was right there in front of me. I did it! I made it to the top of one of the MANY summits of the Boise foothills! What a view! Oh man, the WIND! I felt like this must how it must be on top of Everest! The wind was howling! I tried to make a video but all you can here is the noise of the wind in the mic.
Well, this was something I had hoped to do one day and guess what? I want to do it again! There’s just something about the Boise foothills that just continue to call to me whenever I’m there. Just can’t wait to get out in them. Next time? Next time I’m going to wear my camelback and bring lots of food. The run back was great but I was SOOOOO hungry! When I got back to my mother-in-law’s place I had breakfast and then an hour later we went out to eat pizza! YES! That’s why I run! HA!