But it will be hard to top the ones from our western trip. Just the sheer diversity of scenery was incredible. It was even worth getting up at 5 a.m. (to avoid running in triple digit temperatures).
My favorite was the trail in Tucson about a mile from Gena and John's house that went into the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Although, it was definitely not a run in which mile times mattered. Going up the first mile of the trail was nearly 12 minutes both because it was steep and because I was trying not to get myself killed. I ran with my iPhone (ostensibly to reassure Elizabeth in case I got lost but really so I could take some photos).
|A view of the valley from the top of one of the hills on the trail. Yes, that's the moon. It was 5:30 a.m.|
|Those are the stones I had to cross to get up to the biking/running trail from the inlet.|
|Seriously, how amazing is that view?|
|The rim trail in the early morning light. The only other people who were awake at this time were the people hiking up the canyon from Phantom Ranch. One group told us they left at 3 a.m.|
|Yes, that's a 25-cent water station in a random Phoenix neighborhood. But I brought my own with me, thank you.|
And the city had a bunch of murals. Some were artsy. Some were culturally relevant. Others were big ads, like this one on the side of the Diamondbacks' stadium Chase Field. But it featured dogs at a baseball game, so I couldn't resist.
|Added bonus of taking pictures on these runs: It was a great excuse to stop and take a breather.|
Now it's back to plain old views of the Shenandoah Mountains to west, the Massanutten Mountain range to the east and the green fields of the valley in between.