Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rail Trail: Return to Wyoming

On Tuesday, I returned to the Rail-Trail in Wyoming for some decent flat miles at elevation. This represents the surface of the Mickelson Trail, which is much of the Lean Horse run -- flat with gradual hills on soft gravel.

Last time, I did 2 out-and backs for a total of over 40 miles, but got pretty dehydrated in the 2nd half, as I didn't have 20 miles worth of water. This time, I thought I'd aim for 30 miles, but keep the 2nd half short and return to the car where I could get more water. I also was experimenting with 'just gel', instead of my usual smorgasbord of sandwiches, chips, pretzels, burritos, etc.

The weather didn't cooperate, though, so I had to cut it short at 20 miles. Felt strong the entire run, though -- after having a day off the day before, I was full of energy. Wanted to go more. In hindsight, saving my legs for the rest of the week probably worked out better.

Anyway, much of Wyoming Territory in these parts is still open range. These guys were on the trail, and didn't want to move.

I swung wide around them, down onto the parallel dirt road. They didn't mind this...until I returned to the trail, past them, and started running. When I did, so did they. A stampede! They took off onto a path in the woods, running along side, crashing through trees and brush, before eventually veering further into the woods.

That excitement over, I finished the run up past Lake Owen, before turning around.

On the trail, I saw exactly 2 people -- a couple on bikes -- doing an out-and-back in the opposite direction. I saw them the 2nd time when I was just 2 or 3 miles from the car, and the clouds were rolling in. "Do you need anything?" the woman asked, with a trace of concern in her voice, I guess thinking that my shirtlessness and single water bottle didn't seem sufficient. "No thanks, I'm great!"

Another good few hours on this trail, definitely an underappreciated gem. I bailed on extra miles and took a nap instead, before heading out to Cameron Pass for the evening.

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