Friday, June 27, 2008

More of a hike than a trail run

This trail run didn't exactly go as planned. We drove up to the Palisades visitor's center and stopped to see what maps they had. I picked up a few free maps of the area, and bought a cool trail guide for our zone of AZ. We then parked at the trailhead to Mt. Bigelow. We took the short "upper Mt. Bigelow" trail to Butterfly. I figured I could run Butterfly and Zac could ride it and maybe loop around. Ha! After a short detour where I missed the turn, I saw Zac down below hiking his bike over logs. I crawled under a log and proceeded to roll my left ankle and fall to the ground. It hurt enough to need to stop and walk it off. I continued on and passed Zac, trying to run where I could, but mostly hiking. I got to a spot where the trail had fallen off the side of the mountain, and decided to turn around. I told Zac there was no sense in hiking his bike further, so he turned around too. He had had too many crashes and was tired of dealing with downed trees and an overgrown trail. It was a mess since the fire. I remembered doing this trail years ago, but it was way different then.

After a few more falls (I fell is that possible?) I decided to stop and wait for Zac before hiking on. So it turned into a picture taking hike. The trail was so overgrown that the shrubs were buzzing with bees. I hoped that 1) I wouldn't get stung, and 2) whatever green stuff I was crashing through wasn't poisonous. It would probably be a good trail to train on if I was doing the Hawaii Xterra championships, but the point of this was to get my heartrate up and run trails at elevation. After the hike, we drove up and found the dirt road that leads to the Mt. Bigelow radio towers. Next time we may park at the Butterfly trailhead so that I can run that road, and Zac can explore the Butterfly trail from the other end and maybe Crystal Springs. Who knows, they may be in just as bad of shape.
Hiking during my "warm up" before running. Little did I know this would be the easiest part of the trail!

Zac's bike and the low bridge. This is where I fell the first time and rolled my left ankle.

The site of the crash. The log stopped Zac's bike from ending up in the gully. He went over that and ended up in the gully to the left.

I don't know what statement Zac was making here.

Hey look! I'm actually running part of the trail!

Zac stops for a snack at one of the many log crossings.

View from the trail.

Hefting the bike over another log.

Some shots I took of Zac riding. This is after we got off of Butterfly and were back on Upper Bigelow.

Some shots of the road. We'll be riding this during the TTG Easy Peasy Lemmon Squeezy rides.

Tires burning in the distance. There wasn't much wind that day, so the plume was huge.

The plate on the rock is a dedication to General Hitchcock. It says that the highway will forever be known as "Hitchcock Highway." Hm. Everyone still calls it Catalina Highway.

Zac and I and a shrubbery. The wall is just below the rock with the dedication plate.


Holly said...

Wow! It is so nice to have you and Zac do all the crazy stuff. By the way, to post this comment I am to use the "word verification" and type "shtwej" - shit wedge?

Chad said...

Butterfly and Crystal are in pretty bad shape... I suggest checking out Mint Springs, an out-n-back ride/run in the town of Summerhaven or Aspen Draw.

Jen said...

you guys are brave. mtn biking scares the hell out of me. when we rode in vail i was riding my brakes on any and every downhill!