Adventures in Running with Maurine

Wasatch Crest 2013

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I was determined to get up on the Wasatch Crest (or part of it) this summer and since my running buddy is hanging out in Tonga, I decided to head up last Saturday and take it on myself.

I drove up Millcreek Canyon early in the morning. I was surprised at how much traffic there was already and I ended up down in the very bottom overflow parking lot for Big Water.

I took along my DSLR camera hoping to find some good locations for pictures and hoping to find some autumn color. It wasn’t looking too good on the drive up – I think we have had too dry of a summer.

From the lower Big Water parking lot, I headed up the trail to Dog Lake. So was everyone and their dog. Really. I must have passed more than 50 dogs going one way or another. And way too many people. The ones that never stopped talking for a single minute were kind of annoying, so I would break free of some of the conga lines to move ahead of all the people and pets. At the trail where you could go two different directions to Dog Lake, a hiker warned me there was a mother and baby moose on the left hand trail. I decided to go on the right hand trail.

Stopped to take pictures at Dog Lake. Is it named Dog Lake because of all the dogs? There were tons of them running around and swimming in the lake.

I headed down from Dog Lake to Desolation Lake. I wish that trail was more runnable, but I seemed to spend a lot of time hopping from side to side to avoid the big rut down the middle.

Back up again at the fork towards Desolation Lake. It was nice to be away from all the people and dogs on the latter two trail sections. They built a new side path for mountain bikers near the fork and that was a bit of a surprise.

I found some more great places to take pictures on this trail. I was loving the blue sky – you forget how pretty it is with the pollution down in the valley.

Finally when I got to Desolation Lake, there was a patch of trees with yellow leaves – I think they were aspens. I traded off with a couple of groups of hikers and bikers to get in some pictures and take pictures of them. Desolation Lake was not as pretty as usual – the water level was really low. I enjoyed getting some shots of the sun glinting on the lake and the wind moving waves across the water.

More pictures of the leaves as I hiked up to the ridge. At the top of the ridge I stopped to take some more pictures of a lake over on the Park City side and then checked in with my daughter.

I headed down towards Millcreek again. Normally I can run this section with no problems. Not this time. I had some weird paranoia going on about falling and could only run on the smoother sections of trail. If there were any rocks or roots I had to slow down. I tried to get over the mental block – but not much success. In addition, I had no energy in my legs and couldn’t maintain a running pace for long. Finally – after about 3 miles of trying to increase my food intake, I was able to run the last 2 miles and enjoy the run. I ended up taking the Red Pine Trail for the first time and came out on the other side of the parking lot (never saw the red pine it was named for).

Down the road to my car and the home. Twelve great miles on the trails.

Next day – my legs were toast. I can tell I did not do enough trails this summer. Good feeling though to know I activated lots of muscles.

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