Let it

Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.”
Harvey MacKay

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Barkley Training (No not really!)

Another Wednesday, another trail adventure with Katie. I seriously love this chick. Some friendships build in time. Ours is building on dirt, sweat, and loads of adventure. Today's was a doozy!
We had both run on roads earlier in the week and wanted some up... again... always. The conversation went a little like this:
Me: Where do you want to go?
Katie: I don't care. I feel like I always do East Kaysville.
Me: Have you done Hell Hole?
K: Nope.
Me: Okay. We'll do Hell Hole.

So we met at the retention pond at Davis Creek, and it wasn't until I pushed the start button on my naked wrist that I realized I'd forgotten my watch. Ah! It's like this run didn't happen already! It didn't really matter. I'm not fast and I'm not pushing any records or anything. I just like numbers. I like to know how far and how high I've gone. Katie has assured me that she will email me her .gpx file... if she can figure out how. Until then, my Strava account thinks I'm lazy.
If you've never hiked or run Davis Creek, know that it starts by going up... and then goes up some more, and then a little more up, and up even more. The first time we explored the Hell Hole trail, I thought I was going to fall backward off the face of the mountain and I was gripping the grasses and weeds as we climbed. It makes me laugh to think back on that. I've done it so many times now. I still have to hike most of it, but I assure you, there is no more dependency on shrubbery.
So I started by showing Katie the Indian Baths. This little hidden gem is a fun little shimmy along the rock face along side the downward course of the waterfall, up to the base of the falls to a little basin- a "bath".
I should mention that laughter was the theme of the day. And that's a good thing.

Again- the first time I thought I was cheating death. Not so much anymore. Still, I'm careful to check and see what my trail buddies are comfy with before charging in. I learned well from the one time I took a friend up the cliffs to see some pictographs and didn't know she was afraid of heights. Oops.
Katie has no such issues. She's a nonchalant bad*ss.
Katie being a nonchalant bad*ss.
.....except when it comes to snakes. Then she's an darlingly skittish little pansy. We came across a little guy (no rattle) sleeping in the middle of the trail just about the split off to Hell Hole. I stopped in my tracks. The local trail running community has been put on their guard about rattlers lately and we're all a touch paranoid. The moment I stopped to observe our slithery friend's lack of rattle, Katie gasped and began doing an adorable little 'grossed out' dance behind me. I tossed a few twigs and stomped a few times to try to get him to move along and he didn't even twitch. It took us a bit to find a good sized stick to nudge him with, and still the only response we got was just a slight twitch of his head. That's when I noticed that the coloring in his body was slowly changing as he began to move a little. He wasn't warm enough to move! I gently nudged him toward the side of the trail and eventually he got enough circulation to move along. I brought the snake nudging stick along for good measure and continued up with Katie exclaiming, "You're like Steve Irwin!" Did I mention I love her? Because I do. The grasses had grown tall around the trail and there was an abundance of overgrowth to make our way through. Up, up, and more up. I think I probably made at least a thousand spiders homeless today... with my face. Such are vegetated trails in the summer! We found flat enough ground to run again and shot through the tinderbox that was Christmas Tree Lane. This is where the lid flew off and the real adventures began.
You would think that I'd been up there enough times to find the right turn off, but summer over-growth got me all befuddled and we ended up bushwhacking in circles for quite some time. Oh, don't you fret, we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves.
A wild Katie in her natural habitat.

In hindsight, I think we just didn't go up high enough to find the right trail turn off, so I had the brilliant idea to go lower and bushwhack our way up the creek bed to the waterfall. Um. That was not brilliant. Katie was totally game. We charged right in and before we knew it, we stood with soaked feet, covered in spiderwebs and surrounded by greenery and so many branches that we ended up climbing trees half the time. It looked kinda like this:
Er.. exactly like this.
I was mostly game to move forward, but I kept apologizing to Katie and she kept laughing at me and saying, "I love this! This is my favorite! Let's keep going!" So we did. We got wet, we climbed trees and embankments and rocks, we put giant spiders out of their webs (which I'm sure are re-built by now). And eventually, we found the actual trail (which was still pretty overgrown) and with a triumphant "whoop!", the waterfall.
Katie immediately declared it worth the trouble and climbed up into it.

I joined her forthwith.

It seemed slightly anticlimactic to take a couple of pictures and leave. I kind wished I'd had a picnic to spread out and enjoy after all that time and work. But we hit the trail again and I came out smacking my forehead at how I had missed it to begin with. We took the loop up and over to Pretty Valley, and chatting happily and finally running again, wound our way down the familiar trail to Cannon Flat and back around to the cars.
I don't have the exacts yet, but I think it took us almost 2 hours to do about 4 miles. It makes me chuckle, because that was so. much. fun.
Our girl came through.
3.8 miles
1,690 ft of vert
16:55 average pace

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