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 22, 2014

Oldham "Solstice", Beale Wagon Road Run

16 Northern Arizona Trail Runners hit the infamous Oldham steps on the summer solstice. The hills never seemed to quit, but at least we were protected from the wind. I am happy to report that rumors of a mountain lion roaming the trails of Elden went unconfirmed, though I must admit I kept my eyes wide open.

 Trish nearing our turn off Rocky Ridge.

We welcomed Flagstaff's newest arrivals Trish and Tom. This was also Trish's first trail run ever and she was officially anointed a trail runner with her first fall! Way to go Trish! Apparently the trail took quite a toll on runners as Bruce waving hello to a friend cost him a sprained ankle.


On the back side of Elden, Trish and I stumbled upon a bit of early Flagstaff history; one of the Beale Wagon Road brass cap monuments that indicate the route of the first federally funded road. In 1857 congress funded Lieutenant Edward Beale to survey a 1240 mile route from Fort Smith Arkansas to the Colorado River across the 35th parallel, passing through Flagstaff. One of the more colorful parts to the story is that Beale employed camels to help him make the long passage across the arid Southwestern territories. While Beale seems to have embraced the camels, none of his survey party agreed.  By 1859, Beale and his crews completed the route, and it became and important route for settlers migrating west. It diminished in importance once the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad was completed in 1882, but the Beale Wagon Road was the forefather of the railroad, Route 66, and now Interstate 40. For more information, visit http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=491

After a grueling, dusty run, we all returned to the KickStand where Ellie kept us all entertained.