Last year after moving into our new house in Ketchum a friend told me,
"You know, from your house you could probably run out your back yeard and all the way to Galena Lodge and barely touch pavement."
I thought, hmmmm....
Galena Lodge is a glorious place about 25 road miles north of Ketchum, ID that is world famous for it's Nordic Ski Trails and extraordinary food. In addition, the Lodge itself is about as homey as a place gets and just thinking about it makes me feel all warm inside.
So, when I learned last night of the Western States cancellation, I thought this would be the perfect time to try this run. I was tapered, not planning to go to work, and the weather report was perfect. A quick look at the map and I had a 60 mile out-and back leaving from my backyard, climbing about 3000 ft (with ups and downs along the way) to Galena Lodge, all on a delightful Rocky Mountain day.
Well, I had a blast and now I am, just like that, ready to begin my taper for Vermont.
I ran the 30 miles up to the lodge in 4:40 and did the return trip in 4:20. I ate a huge basket of salty, seasoned fries at the lodge and washed them down with three ice cold Pepsis. I saw exactly zero people on the trail and enjoyed every minute of the 9 hours on the trail.
Did it replace the joy and the mystique of Western States? No way! But, today's run did remind me that there are many reasons for spending hours on the trails running through the mountains and sometimes joy comes when you least expect it.
Now, I'm off on a fishing weekend with my kids!