Sunday, September 9, 2007

Douglas Springs Trail Run

I decided to check out part of the Douglas Springs Trail this morning, which is located at the base of the Rincon mountains, which are on the East side of Tucson. Nestled in the Saguaro Wilderness area, it is mostly high desert vegetation. I needed a trail run!
At the trailhead, there was a volunteer Park Ranger who informed me that there had been mountain lion sightings out on the trails and to be on the lookout and be careful. She then said, "don't run". I thought, well, this is the whole point of coming out here - to run! She must have seen the puzzled look on my face, so she said, "Don't run if you see a mountain lion, because they will chase you." Oh, okay! I wasn't headed to the Garwood Dam area, which is where she said they had been seen - they are thirsty and looking for water.
So I head
ed down the trail, which had a beautiful view and gentle rolling hills for about .6 mile until I hit the stairs (see the picture on the left). The trail is pretty much one granite rock step after another for the next mile so it wasn't very runnable in those areas. However, with all the stairs (there were at least a couple of hundred!) even when I had to hike and not run, I felt like it was very good training for the Bisbee Stair Climb Race, which is coming up on October 20th - my birthday! I was also fairly tired and sore from yesterday's run, which was about 12 miles, and I got a late start this morning, so it was very hot! Who knows, maybe I'll conquer this trail of stairs someday and run the heck out of them!

I was headed to Bridal Wreath Falls, which is an elevation change of 930 feet from the trailhead and 5.2 miles roundtrip. The trail disappeared on the last .3 mile stretch to the Falls. It was just brush and bushes (see the picture on the left), but I was able to find my way alright. We are definitely drying out - there was only a trickle at the Falls (it was such a trickle, that it can hardly be seen in the picture!). I was the only one out there, and it was getting hot, so I figured I better head on back. I made great time back, since I could (sort of) run down the trail steps. Some parts were still too rocky and steep, so I had to take my time on those parts.
I arrived back safely, with no mountain lion sightings! I saw some lizards, rabbits, and a few red birds (not sure what kind). I got a few good scratches from the overgrown brush, but what is the point of a good trail run if there is no blood! I wore my Inov-8 t
rail shoes with my hot pink trail gaiters. I have only worn these shoes when I did my trail runs in North Carolina in June (it has been 2 and half months since I have done a real trail run!) so it was good to try them out on the Tucson trails. They are so comfy! I ran into a hiker that said he could see me a mile away with those hot pink gaiters! I got them at Dirty Girl Gaiters online. I just like them because they are PINK and they keep the dirt and pebbles out.
The views of the Rincon mountains were beautiful today. I am very blessed with many wonderful things in my life - today is just one of many!

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