Staged Mountain Running with a Camera

A month or more ago, I posted a few pictures and an account of one my bicycle rides. (Cycling the Great Salt Lake.) Since then I have been scheming to do another adventure for my blog. It takes a bit of planning to remember a camera and run or bike in an interesting place but I find that it adds some excitement and fun to otherwise routine training. The following is my latest, but not last, adventure.

First, I will give you some background. As a kid, my parents would load my brothers and I into a pick-up truck and drive 3 hours to a small ranching community to work on restoring a then 85 year old house that would serve as the family cabin. I didn't spend much time helping, unless you count being out of the way help. Rather, I would hike the hills surrounding us with my ranch-residing cousins. We'd walk for hours searching for rocks for our collections and looking for other interesting artifacts, like old bottles and other pioneer trash. The thing I most remember though, was a sandstone tower with countless initials and dates carved into the soft and weathered sides. Now years later, this was the destination I wanted to return to. Only I wasn't sure how to get there. I knew the general direction but was unsure of the distance. A long way as a boy doesn't necessarily translate the same to an adult.

This last Memorial Day weekend, my family visited the cabin and I mentioned to my brother Steve my interest in finding the rock tower and my goal to make it a trail-run/picture-taking adventure. Fortunately, he was a bit more familiar with the area and took me on a quick ATV ride to the area where I thought the sandstone to be. We found the rock tower but it was a bit different then I remembered so I wasn't sure it was the same one I remembered as a kid but he at least gave me some confidence in the direction I was headed and some comfort that I wouldn't be running more then a couple of miles. I'd run it in the morning

The next morning was rainy and cold. So I mentally decided to give up on the idea and just hang out with my own kids. When I mentioned it out loud, I caught some serious flack so I decided to suck it up and run. I'm glad I did.

Running from the rock to the camera resting atop some sagebrush. (I love timer delays)

The run turned out to be only 2-3 miles and I spent a lot of time taking pictures. I hope you enjoy.

An old etching in sandstone.

Could this be my initial from my childhood? It's doubtful, but what the heck, it's mine now.

May is a great time of the year to visit the high desert. Even the sagebrush is picturesque.

The sky was filled with hawks on this particular morning. I stopped and took nearly 10 pictures. They were soaring so closely to me. Maybe I should have taken the preceding hill a little slower so I wouldn't have looked (and smelled) so "dead."

A look at the cabin from atop the first hill I huffed and puffed up.


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