Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Fell In Love With Timpanogos

So. There's this friend of mine named Catherine. I've run more miles with her than anyone else on Earth. I've seen her barf on her shoes. I've seen blisters on her feet big enough to make a grown man cry. I've run every step of a 100 miler with her. We've seen the good, bad, and ugly in each other. I seriously love every mile I spend with her.

For years I have been envious of my friends in northern Utah who have posted pictures of their runs to the peak of Mount Timpanogos. It looked like an amazingly beautiful area and has been near the top of my running To Do List. Over the weekend I finally ran this trail for the first time with Catherine and her friends Alessandra and Carin.

I live in southern Utah where almost all my runs are red. Red rocks. Red dirt. Red mountains. I love the red. But it was awesome to run through something different than red.

I have seen some crazy things on the trails over the years. I've seen rattlesnakes. I've seen coyotes. I've even seen Care Bears. (Granted, they were at mile 90 of a But the Timpanogos run was the first time I've ever seen THIS!

Over the years I have worked on improving my running photography. I feel like I'm getting comfortable getting the scenery and action shots I want.

Listen. The wildflowers in this area. The kaleidoscope of colors was simply incredible.

The flowers on the hill sides seemed downright patriotic with bursts of reds, whites, and blues.

One of the things I love most is experiencing a trail for the first time. I had high expectations about the Timpanogos scenery. And the scenery exceeded my already high expectations.

There were some smoother sections of trail, but also large chunks that were super rocky and technical. I loved it all.

I put Tailwind in my pack and also brought some Picky Bars for a mid-run snack. These are tasty! I've tried lots of different brands of bars and these are my favorite.

Sometimes we'd get to a section where I'd look up and think "How in the world am I going to get up there?" The answer: lots and lots of climbing.

One of my favorite pictures was catching Alessandra cruising across the trail.

The higher we climbed, the cooler the views became. Soon we could see the city valley off on the horizon.

I'm afraid of heights. There were a few sections of the trail that made me tense up a bit but overall it wasn't too bad. I admit I felt a little squeamish arriving at this point, looking up at the peak, and thinking "That trail looks slightly, um, scary." If you look closely you can see the faint line of the trail weaving up the mountain.

I tried the new UltrAspire Astral pack for the first time on this run. I was pleased with how comfortable it was. I want to spend some more miles with it and then will give a more thorough review. Catherine caught this picture of me admiring the view.

After reaching the peak we hung out for a while soaking in this amazing experience. After years of wanting to run this peak, it was cool to finally be standing here.

I was thankful for a few minutes to catch my breath. The air is pretty thin up there!

As we headed back down the trail, the girls got far out ahead of me. I was smitten by all the wildflowers and couldn't seem to put my camera away. You guys, it was just so, so beautiful.

We met up with an unexpected trail buddy - this cool bighorn sheep. Mountain goats are common around here. (We saw some of those too.) But apparently the bighorn sheep are much more rare.

I had a ridiculous amount of fun running with these guys. My first time running Mount Timpanogos is an experience I won't forget.


  1. Gorgeous. Even the goat's butt has a weird attractiveness to it.

  2. I have an Astral review:

  3. I've done this run about 20 times and I've never seen a big horn sheep on this trail. Count yourself lucky!

  4. Wow!! I really impressed by hearing your journey of running Mount Timpanogos. Yes, as I know from your mouth it seems to me really an unforgettable journey. Thanks

  5. So beautiful. I have to do that run sometime. Do you know the legend of Mount Timpanogos? My daughter goes to school in Provo, at the mouth of the canyon, and she told me - something about an Indian maiden who was betrayed, and now you can trace her profile in the outline of the peak.