10 Runners including the Mangine clan (and no dogs) made a last second decision to test the Brins Mesa Trail Loop from the Jordan Road parking lot. Undaunted by promises of epic hill ascents, the group headed out for the 5.2 mile tour (David forewarned the group that it'll feel like 8). After making some quick wrong turns in the forest (the snow and ice made the turns a bit tricky to recognize), the group headed into the wilderness and were not disappointed.
In rating today's trail climbs on Nigel Tufnel's scale (Spinal Tap), "these go to 11!". This was simply one of the most scenic and challenging 5 miles of NATRA trail runs ever. The experience was enhanced by the snow, ice and mud on the trail. Water trickled down the drainages and ice crackled on the sandstone.
For the most part the trails were frozen until we got on top of Brins Mesa which had just thawed. We ran through a short section of the Brins Fire which has healed over very nicely. The views of the wilderness were spectacular from the top.
Once we all safely navigated the final descent and headed into Sedona, we encountered 3 javalinas who seemed to consider whether they would let us get coffee. Once they decided we were not worthy of their time, we enjoyed sitting outside in West Sedona's sunshine and snarfed down coffee, teas and pastries. A great day for a new trail run!
Check out Efmer Trails Web Page for a profile of the run.
About NATRA Blog
This page is meant for folks to post their thoughts on the Saturday group run. I (Neil) will post a blurb about who showed up and where it was held. From there, I hope that other runners will share their thoughts since we often have different experiences on the same run. Enjoy!