Monday, July 26, 2010

Green Mountain trail run

This summer is heavy on the Lemmon, with the Easy Peasy Lemmon Squeezy rides on Saturdays for 6 weeks in a row. I usually need to get some sleep after a week of training, so not getting up at 4:30 AM on Sunday means heading to higher elevation for later morning trail runs. On Sunday, I was able to convice Zac to come with me for a trail run on Mt. Lemmon. We had ridden to Windy Point the day before as part of the EPLS ride, so the legs were definitely tired. I promised him it would be an easy pace, and probably more hiking than anything.

The original plan was to park at the San Pedro Vista (the destination for next week's EPLS ride), and run the Brush Corral trail. However, as we drove up the mountain, we noticed dark clouds overhead. We got to Rose Canyon and it was sprinkling. By the time we got to the San Pedro Vista, it was pouring. We looked around and there was no sunlight in sight. I really didn't want to get drenched for an hour, so we turned around and headed back down the mountain. We decided to try the lower Green Mountain trail. It's nice that in just a few miles on Mt. Lemmon you can have completely different weather. At the Green Mountain parking lot, it was just cloudy and still cool enough for a run.

Normally mountain bikers travel this trail in the opposite direction to make it mostly downhill. We would be starting at the bottom, so for us it would be a climb up and then a run back down. The weather was great, and we just had a light sprinkle during the middle part of the run. It was sunny lower on the mountain, so the clouds overhead in this area were perfect. The trail is quite technical in spots as you climb up, with a ton of undercut water bars and granite rocks. For us it was mostly a hike, with a few sections of running thrown in when the trail flattened out. We turned around at the 1.5 mile mark and headed back down, which was a heck of a lot easier. But it was a nice break from running the road and the desert trails at the lower elevations.

I've perfected taking pictures while running and riding. :)
Zac and I trying not to fall of the rock.

The "green" portion of Green Mountain. This part we could actually run.

Hard to believe this is just a few miles from Tucson.

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