Running to the Elwha

In prior posts I’ve written about hiking up the Elwha (here and here) and riding to the Elwha. Well, yesterday I ran to the Elwha! With just a few days left in 2012, I’m only a few miles short of my goal of running 600 miles in 2012. From our prior experience of riding our bikes 6.6 miles on a nearly-level trail to the Elwha River bridge and back, I knew it would be an easy, beautiful out-and-back run.

The skies were gray but there was nothing more than drizzle in the forecast. CFL loaded up his bike and we drove out to the trailhead just west of town. He completed two out-and-backs during the time it took me to do the run, so we had several chances to say “hello” to each other along the way.

It was a perfect day to be outside and active. As usual for this time of year, my feet went numb in the first half mile but I was toasty by the time I’d completed my second full mile. The piles of big-leaf maple leaves that I’d enjoyed running over on my bike were long gone and the paved trail was wide open and non-slippery. With all the leaves off the maples, I could see middle-distance views toward the river.

I stopped to take a photo of the two-level bridge as I approached it. Runners/bikers/walkers use the lower level; the upper level is for cars.

Then I stopped in the middle of the bridge to take photos of the river. It’s still extremely muddy. I read the other day that only about 10% of the century’s worth of silt has reached the mouth of the river since the dam removal process started, so there is a lot more mud yet to come!

Elwha River

After a slow, refreshing several minutes of gazing down at the river, I turned around to head back. The ever-so-lightly uphill trail led me back through the trees, past the airport, and toward town.

Olympic Discovery Trail near the Elwha River Bridge

I picked up the pace for the last two and a half miles, as it was beginning to drizzle. CFL’s post-ride grin was as big as mine! We both enjoyed our exercise highs for the rest of the day.

I’m learning that at this time of year we have to go out and grab whatever exercise we can get, whenever the weather offers a halfway decent chance. This time of year it’s all about seizing the best moment to run, or bike, through the raindrops!

Wherever you are, whatever your weather, I hope you find your ways to enjoy your mid-winter moments… slowly and happily!

4 responses to “Running to the Elwha

  1. I just found your blog, looks good. I also enjoy running and making home brew.
    It is important to enjoy life and make the most of each day. So many people always seem to be wishing their lives away. On Monday you always hear them wishing it was Friday.
    Happy New Year!

  2. The photos are beautiful, Lori. I love the two-level bridge! The sky looks clear and crisp, but they don’t show how cold it is! I have spent a lot of time talking about what a cold-weather wimp I am, so i really admire the getting out there and running with cold feet! I’m glad they eventually warm up. 🙂 You’re so right about getting out there and moving, though. I need to take your words as inspiration and step up the activity level. I do feel a little lethargic after giving in to entirely too much holiday food. Sending my best wishes for a thriving 2013, Lori. I have a sense that it is indeed going to be a good year. 🙂

  3. Debra, after all this time (4+ years and nearly 2,000 miles total) it can still sometimes be “one step at a time, one foot in front of the other” for me. There are times, like right now when it’s cold and damp and my next race is still 4+ months away, that I really have to talk myself into getting out there for a run. There are times when I’m out there running but I have to talk myself, one step at a time, out of taking a walk break. Still, somewhere around the point that my feet thaw out, I rediscover how great it feels to be out doing something that I love so much.
    The cold isn’t that bad, actually. This time of year it’s usually around 40, give or take a couple of degrees, by the time I hit the trail. I did run once when it was 28 — and that was rather miserable to be honest.
    At the moment I’m feeling very revved up over the fact that I’m about to meet a big annual goal. This morning I’d probably be excited about running even if it was pouring out there!
    I also have positive hopes for 2013. I think it’s going to be a new beginning for many people in many ways. Happy New Year and cheers to you!!

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