Because many of us won't be able to make it to the Picture Canyon celebration next week due to the Northland Hospice Race, NATRA celebrated the City of Flagstaff's purchase of Picture Canyon a week early! On June 29th, the public is welcome to head out to Picture Canyon to celebrate the amazing preservation and restoration that Flagstaff residents can enjoy for years to come. Read about the history of the successful efforts to buy this very special piece of land!
Considering most of Flagstaff was rocking at Run with Laura races, we had a great turnout of 16 runners, many new to this section of the Arizona Trail. As we descended on the black sands from Flagstaff's last volcanic eruption (Sunset Crater ca. 1080 AD), we encountered the hard working Coconino Rural Environmental Corps, fixing up the trail.
After crossing the Arizona Trail footbridge, we headed up onto an old logging road and then took a quick stop at Flagstaff's only year round "waterfall". We spied a few more petroglyphs, took a deep breath, and headed into the baking cinders.
The return is always rough as running is cinders is even tougher than on the beach. At least on the beach you can run to water's edge and have a well packed surface. The ascent from Picture Canyon was all uphill, throw in the cinders, and you have a lot of walking runners (and don't forget Bob the dog!)
Once back to the trail head, we decided with the large group that Wildflower Bread Company would be yet another option to replenish our worn out bodies. As we sat in the shade, a cool breeze made it a bit uncomfortable and we all found it funny that summer had just arrived, yet the days were already getting shorter. Just 90 days and we should be running in snow again! Ha!