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!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sycamore Rim Trail - Or oh my toes!

I have waited a long time to run the Sycamore Rim Trail. I posted the run about 5 years ago, but missed out. After a near record turnout on Thursday morning's turkey day run, I wondered who would be around for this jaunt. After quickly realizing it would just be me, Sabrina and Bruce, we took the 30 minute drive to the Dow Springs Trailhead.

Honestly, I think this was one of our most spectacular runs ever. We started uneventfully enough, checking out the cool historic remains of the 1920s logging camp and railroad grade along the edge of the canyon. This is one of my favorite historic sites on the Kaibab National Forest so I got some monitoring in as well. Beautifully unchanged since I first saw it over 20 years ago.

Once we left the historic site we dropped into the head of Sycamore Canyon where we dodged frozen pools of crystal clear spring water. It was here, 13 summers ago, when on a hot sultry day of survey, one of my crew members went skinny dipping on his lunch break. No such dreams of doing so today with the icy cold waters and brisk wind blowing up the canyon.

As we climbed out of the canyon and ran along the rim, I managed to avoid all the widow maker rocks thanks to Bruce. Luckily, Bonnie stills has a husband. His nimble and acrobatic side steps kept him from stumbling off the canyon edge. I kept my distance safely behind him and did just fine. The views all the way to the Sycamore Vista were stunning and we figured it was about 4 miles. It of course felt like 5 with the jagged basalt cobbles doing their best to beat our toes to a pulp.

The return was a non-stop flight until we went searching for Dow Springs. I had dreams of filling my water bottle with icy cold water, however, the spring's output only trickled out of a pipe choked with a very unappealing iron sludge - we passed on the water. Once we made it back to the car, our knees tightened and our feet hurt - the signs of what was truly one of my favorite NATRA runs of all time. We quickly recovered at the Coffee Bean and headed off for our well deserved post-run naps.

Check out this link to an interactive map!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Oldam Trail and 30th Annual Free Flagstaff Turkey Predictor Run

To start the day a record 30 runners, 3 dogs and 1 biker made the pre-Turkey Predictor Run by completing the Oldham Trail Monday night 4.5 mile loop! As we approached the end of the run we could see waves of people getting excited fort the start of today's main event....

A record turnout for the 30th Annual Free Flagstaff Turkey Predictor Run. This Flagstaff tradition saw a three way tie for first with three participants within 3 seconds of their predicted time! Happy Thanksgiving!