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!