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!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Return to Waterline

15 Northern Arizona Trail Runners ran, or really, were blown, up and down the Waterline Road. This was our first run since before the June 2010 Schultz Fire and more than half the group had never before run Waterline!

At the outset we were treated to our first ever group run sighting of a mama bear and her two cubs right before we got to the gate. We thought they might join us in our continuing search for rampaging rogue pandas, but they showed little interest in a social outing and ambled off into the Forest about 100 meters in front of us. Dang, phone cameras don't have very good zoom lenses.

A completely different landscape than our last run up Waterline, 5 years ago.
Waterline May 23, 2009
 Compare to above, striking contrast to today.

During the run, we were amazed at the post-Schultz Fire changes (almost exactly 4 years ago) and how different the run feels. The question used to be, "are we there yet?" (to the tunnel turn-around point). Well, post-fire, the volcanic dyke of the tunnel can now be seen from a mile a way, negating the age old question. In the past, while there were sweeping views from a handful of openings, now it is difficult to keep your eyes of the stunning cinder cone landscape vistas of east Flagstaff for the entire run.

Prior to the fire the dense Ponderosa pine and Douglass fir tree forest sheltered us from the winds. Unshielded, the wind tried its best to send runner's caps off to the Navajo Reservation.

Chillaxing before the furious downhill.(Sara Wagner photo)

Erin, Mackenzie, and Anika surprised us as we hit the tunnel.

After the fast downhill return, we replenished ourselves by packing the patio at the KickStand. Next week Lower Oldham/Rocky Ridge. Meet at Buffalo Park at 8 AM sharp!

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog Neil. I wish I had run it before the fire but it was still one of the most interesting and fun runs I have done with NATRA. And the views were spectacular.