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Month: July 2013

Baer Canyon, Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

Baer Canyon, Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

Enthused by that first trail run, I planned my next attack.  Now living in Utah, I get July 24th off – Pioneer Day.  I convinced a coworker to join me and we made an attack of Baer Canyon.  Unbeknownst to me, this is a notoriously steep and difficult trail.  They hold a killer race there every year called the Bair Gutsman.  Indeed, it was a steep hike.  Over 4,000 ft. in elevation over a 5 mile climb.  The last face you climb to come out on the Great Western Trail / Francis Peak Road was rough.  Fellow hikers told me that it is called “Death Row.”  By that point I was exhausted and took it slow.  At the top I encountered ANOTHER rattlesnake – 2 for 2 – and snapped a few pictures looking down into Morgan County on the backside.  The trip down was almost worst – tough on the legs and knees.  It was great and felt great to do.  Unfortunately, my out-of-shape body wasn’t prepared.  I honestly struggled walking up and down my stairs for a good week after.  Ouch.

Still Climbing.  Will we ever get to those towers?!

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After the Scare with Dehydration on Flag Rock, I picked up a Nathan HPL 020 Hydration Vest.  LOVED IT.  It holds 2 liters of water, doesn’t bounce around at all and has room for snacks.

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Panorama looking East into Morgan County from the top.  See the Francis Peak FAA towers on the right (south).

24 July 2013 Baer Canyon to Francis Peak


Looking West Down Baer Canyon Towards Fruit Heights, Kaysville, and Farmington

24 July 2013 Baer Canyon to Francis Peak2

My Kids were Very Concerned about my bloodied knee.  After descending the “death row” steep trail you hit a short section of flat trail that traverses north across a creek bed.  It felt so good to stretch my legs out in a full stride that I just took off….and tripped and did a full superman into the dirt.  Ouch.

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First Trail Run, Flag Rock, Rattlesnakes, and Dehydration

First Trail Run, Flag Rock, Rattlesnakes, and Dehydration

On the evening of 8 July 2013 I went up for my first trail run

It was in the 90s, and the evening sun was beating on the exposed face of the Wasatch Range that I decided to ascend.  I took the trail closest to home – a set straight up from Farmington to Flag Rock – an outcropping about 1,500 ft up from the valley floor with a large American Flag.  I started “running” and quickly realized that my Nebraska lungs (and legs) weren’t prepared for the climb or lack of oxygen in the air.  To make matters worse, about 1 mile in, I almost stepped on a rattlesnake.  With the snake behind me, I figured I should soldier on, but was incredibly paranoid for the rest of the run.  I even picked up a walking stick to use to ward off future snake friends, should we cross paths.  I was a little freaked out.  To make matters worse – I quickly realized that I needed water. I had a large bottle in the car, and had figured that the 3 mile hike/run wouldn’t require water on the trail.  The 90 degrees quickly sapped by strength and the trail turned out to be 4.7 miles.

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When I got back to the car I chugged the full 24 oz. bottle.

Though hot, dehydrated and freaked out about snakes – it was fun.  And, I was immediately hooked.  I got a great workout (the whole reason for trying to run in the first place) and got to be in the mtns.  Win win.

On my way to the top, on the north trail.  The entire time I was taking moments to crouch and hide in what little shade the scrub oaks provided.

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The Flag

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Me, dehydrated and red-faced.

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