Of all the things that have changed since we met 16 years ago, our location might be the biggest…but right after that I tend to say is technology. Looking back at some of the trips we’ve taken I’m appalled at the poor photo quality and surprised we even managed to find our way out of a paper bag before our phones.
Truly this trip was not just a celebration of the big changes to come, but such a reminder of where we’ve been!
What’s Going On???
Close friends know that for the last year I’ve nearly begged David to quit his job. While he really liked many of the direct people he worked with, the environment was simply toxic. He wasn’t sleeping due to stress and kind of like you watch the president age over his term, I was watching that happen at home!
Of course, eventually not enough sleep and a lot of stress, helped him accept the offer of a recruiter to look for something new…
And TA DA, a new position that he’s really excited has come to be.
Of course, that new position is in Boulder, which could easily turn in to a 2 hour commute from our current home, so hence the moving!! Which is a super long way of saying that while David had a little time off between jobs, we got to work on a last minute vacation!
For years, I’ve heard people mention this place and it certainly looked great, but the moment we drove in to town I found both of us mesmerized. We wanted to stop at every corner to take photos.
Instead, we spent three day’s running (or mountain biking) all the trails and trying not to stop during all those sweat sessions for photos. You couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces as we finished up each new trail (6 in total).
I’d say you can’t go wrong with any trail here, but a quick list of our tips:
- Some trails are free parking, some are paid, all equally great and use credit card machines so you don’t need cash.
- Cathedral Rock has a highly trafficked trail up to a lookout, skip that and stay on the lower trails for epic views and uninterrupted trail time. It will be lots of big rocks, so working those ankles.
- Peace Park is absolutely worth visiting to experience and you can get in a pretty easy hike in that area too.
- Bell Rock has a number of trails that will give you lots of options. I wanted to really run, so I took the outer telephone loop for a few less rocks and slightly flat.
- Running through town is also going to afford you some incredible views. I did that the morning our car broke down and couldn’t believe that every turn was just stunning. Lots of sidewalks and still so much to see with the cool houses and lots of sculptures.
- Download Trail Run Project to help you stay on course, find routes and determine how hard they are.
- Hills. Expect hills. Lots of hills.
- Embrace any of the grocery stores nearby to stock up on food to really fuel those sweat sessions.
- Splurge for the hotel room with a view and a hot tub, best way to recover.
Even with the bizarre car breakdown situation, which resulted in us riding on top of a tow truck (still questioning if that was legal) it remained a lighthearted moment! Partially because I had cell service even in a canyon to call the rental car company for help!
Grand Canyon: South Rim
Sorry friends there was non Rim 2 Rim attempt, I just haven’t been training for that, didn’t have time and the previous days of 30,000+ steps meant it wasn’t happening. I also still can’t quite believe this was the first time both of us have been here!!
I think again it surpassed our expectations. We thought it would be amazing to see, but weren’t sure beyond that. Of course, taking the time to really EXPERIENCE it by walking around for 4 hours on day 1 and selecting trails to hit on day 2…well that took it from breathtaking to truly memorable.
Not doing R2R? Not sure what to do??
I wasn’t either, so in case it helps anyone else:
- The Rim Trail along the top edge runs for miles and miles. You can walk a long ways and then hop one of the free shuttles back to the visitor center.
- You can rent bikes for some paved paths (though most aren’t right on the rim).
- There are a few trails right off the Rim where you’ll see MANY MANY people going down. These are extremely well groomed and signs at the Visitor Center give you a good idea of how much time to plan.
- Of course carry water and know that down is easier than up!!!
I knew that we needed to get below the rim for a different experience, so we started on Bright Angel trail, which descends 4,000 feet to the R2R trail. Because my soul was literally begging for a run, I walked down quite a ways with David and then turned around to run up (gasp) and then along the rim.All I could really think was I’m so freaking lucky and so freaking happy. Tired legs couldn’t possibly have stopped me from this run.
Finally it was time to drive to Vegas and this turned out to be a more spectacular part of the trip than I anticipated! First, how did I not know that the area just outside of Las Vegas is filled with stunning landscape and some incredible trails!! Now we can’t wait to go back and find the hot springs!Again, we’ve never been here together and mostly thought ahh some pool time…but of course we made it so much more.
- There are insanely beautiful trails right outside Vegas!
- We hit up another Cirque de Solei (KA was out of this world)
- We saw Penn and Teller which was hilarious
- We watched our beloved Chiefs lose from a cool sports bar
- We did indeed sit by the pool and luxuriate in it not snowing
- I ran multiple days on the strip enjoying the below 5,000 feet ease of breathing
- We wandered and looked confused at all the machines, but agreed to try and figure a few out
- We laughed, we hit 30,000 steps even on non-trail days and agreed we might just come back
The one other time I remember Vegas is from running the inaugural year of the Rock N Roll Marathon there. It was a decent race, but before they moved everything to the night time and I’m kinda glad.
It’s amazing to run the strip when it’s shut down, but for a normal run I recommend running towards the Las Vegas sign. You’ll got farther with less interruptions and if you’re going super long there is a great park a few miles away. Whewwwww what a trip.
It was exactly what I hoped for David to disconnect from one project before starting something new. And I know with the book tour and moving, we won’t get some of the quality time I enjoy in a few months.
How freaking cool we could document it, share it, plan it and live it because of technology?!
Really there’s so much more I could say on each of these stops, let me know if you have questions on any area!!!
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