Saturday, March 18, 2017

Change of plans - 3.18 #sol17 Story Challenge

Today was a beautiful day where I live and, in between grading binges, I intended to enjoy it. I made a plan.

Plan A ~ Ride mass transit south for 15 minutes to hook into a trail network through the foothills that would enable me to trail-run back home. The journey on foot would be about seven miles, and this was within the realm of reasonable for me these days. All proceeded as planned until I hit the first trail closure sign. Due to maintenance stemming from severe flooding back in 2013, the Mesa Trail wasn't open to take me back north. I needed a new plan.

Turn around? Not my bull-headed style. My inner GPS started rerouting: I can still do this, I calculated. It would just be slightly less comfortable without water and food. Sure, it'd be farther, but I'd be okay.

Plan B ~ I shifted gears, mixing in running and walking as a means of conservation. I kept going west, up near the summit of Bear Peak, at 8,400 feet, notably higher than Plan A called for. I'm glad I walked. I caught my alternate route north, down the west ridge of Bear Peak and up to a saddle below Green Mountain, down to Flagstaff Mountain, and then one more stretch of trail back to town.

About four hours and 11 miles later, I drank several glasses of water, ate a banana, collapsed on the couch, then woke up to write this. Since pictures are worth thousands of words, here's a map, with Plan A in blue, B in purple, and the infamous closure in red.


  1. Wow! I'm exhausted just thinking about this:) I'm in awe!

  2. Oh no! What an unexpected adventure for the day! A similar thing happened to me once but it involved getting lost on cross country skis for a few hours...congrats on make it home!

  3. Fascinating! No, don't stop -- find another route and keep going!

    Thanks for your post!

  4. Wow. I'm impressed. Glad you woke up to post and share!

  5. Oops, not exactly your planned day, but a great slice and a testament to your determination.

    1. It was like my planned day, plus! Which, in hindsight, is better than minus :) In the moment, around the three-hour mark, I admit I might've had a different mindset.

  6. A. Bull headed, quite a confession. :). B. Impressive.

  7. I keep thinking about your knee... guess all better? What an exhausting adventure!!