I picked Katie up at 8 and, after a quick stop at Starbucks, we were on our way west.
The trailhead for the Telephone loop is just west of Bragg Creek. When we arrived, the parking lot was almost empty. Just a few early rising cyclists.
The loop is 16k and everything I had read said it is a difficult trail, but I was so excited to get out there.
Shiny, happy mommas running free!!! This was going to be awesome! And a great test for the pixie on a run :)
It was such a beautiful morning. A little cool when we started off, but by 4k, I was ready to take off the long sleeve.
The trail was a bit marshy, but I had heard reports of rain in Banff yesterday so I figured it must have also hit this area recently.
It was a whole lot of uphill to start. and so peaceful and quiet. And then we hit a downhill bit around 5k and WHAMMO! My toe hit a rock and I went FLYING!
I skidded across the ground. My knee slammed into a rock. Then my shoulder hit another rock. and then my face hit the ground and my glasses were off and I was left cursing and laughing and wincing on the ground. My worst running fall yet...and my first trail fall.
The very muddy ground. But i was super impressed that my Chick'd capris didn't tear in the fall.
It took me a few moments to collect myself. My knee was scraped and bleeding and my shoulder and hand were a bit road-rashy but I was prepared with some wet-ones so I got myself cleaned up pretty fast and we were soon on our way.
Good thing too...because just as we reached this, we heard a shout:
A speedy gonzales mountain biker came careening down the path for the advantage of his Go Pro. We leapt out of the way and he zoomed through the water. A couple of minutes earlier and I'm not sure we would have had enough time to get out of his way. At least he shouted in advance.
We leapt over the water and carried on after him. Every time we started to run, it was like a hill popped up in front of us. and a mud bog. But we were having a blast out there. Chatting away the miles and tiptoeing through the marshy parts.
I'm so happy I wore my New Balance trail shoes. They are so light and meshy that they dry in a snap so I didn't feel like I was running in soaked shoes the entire time.
We were very sad and quite angry at all of the clear cutting and the newish logging roads that were at this point.
and all of the clear cutting.
It was just like running on soaked sponges through a lot of these sections.
We got in a whole lotta core work balancing our way across things like this.
There were danger signs all over the place. Ice Flow signs too, but we weren't too concerned about that quite yet. Maybe in a couple of weeks ;)
Soon, we were passing though meadows and having a ball on the downhills.
The views were breathtaking.
and then, all of a sudden...the trail. just. ended.
The flood had washed away the bank and the trail along with it.
And there were some menacing cows just across the water who didn't seem to want us to go that way either.
We roamed around a bit looking for a place where the trail might detour to with no luck (and a few burrs stuck to our pants). We could see a road across the water and figured it would carry us back to the trail head. We just had to hope the cows weren't feeling rambunctious.
We ended up practicing our balance beam skills, crossing the creek on a fallen log. THAT was quite the adventure and after watching Katie nimbly cross over - I figured it'd be a piece of cake. I almost ditched right in the middle but picked up the pace and got myself across.
As we scrambled up the bank on the other side, I couldn't help but notice the ridiculously bright orange of the algae. And the oily scum around the edges.
We snuck through the trees behind the cows and non-chalantly started up the road.
This cow DID NOT want us there. Such a protective momma. I guess no one told her it was Momma's morning off!
We were almost to the texas gate when I nearly had another fall when my foot hit a particularly squishy cowpie.
It was a close one.
After the gate, we were greeted by more flood devastation. The road was a complete mess.
and the bridge we had to cross had obviously spent a great deal of time under water and had a hole right through it. Not sure I would trust it to support a vehicle (especially one of those logging trucks)
At this point, we figured we were about a km from the trailhead, but then we came around a corner and there it was. We were suddenly done - just like that.
And that parking lot had gotten super busy in the 3 hours we'd been gone. We were super glad we'd gone so early. It was such a fun run and the perfect Momma's morning off! I have a feeling we'll be doing this a lot next summer.
Later, in the evening, Katie texted me this:
Hmmm...yeah - I guess you could call that trail a little wet. Though I think I prefer the word "squishy"
|you can totally see EXACTLY where I fell. LOL|