Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Elusive 12 Summits

Um, well I have attempted 12 summits 4 times. I have run it successfully only 1 time. ONE TIME! The first time I attempted it, one of the people I went with bonked pretty bad so we had to cut part of it out and go back the most direct route. The second time, it was a success, partly due to other people that knew the way. The 3rd time, there was too much snow and had to turn around and now this time, we were "re-routed" and had dropped the water in the wrong spot and had to run on the road until we found it. Leaving the water untouched was not an option as it was super hot and we were all pretty much out of water. Good thing we did not bring the dogs as they would have suffered big time in the heat.
It all started off just fine. We made it all the way to the 5th summit without directional difficulty.
We first realized we were lost when the terrain looked very unfamiliar despite going the way the map had instructed. Also, we could not find the 6th summit. The map said, "look for a stump." No seriously, I must have seen many many stumps and none of them looked like they led to the 6th summit. Once we got to a clear cut section that looked completely foreign to me, we turned around and ran back and took the other fork. We ran on that for awhile and then heard a fairly busy highway, HWY 18. John and Owen knew seeing HWY 18 was not a good sign for staying on course, but I have no sense of direction and once you get me out of Seattle, I don't know my way around or what direction Auburn is or Kent, or Renton. We started heading up following the power lines and until John spotted a hidden trail that said, "Tiger Mt. Trail." More excited, I could not be for it was headed down and the power line route was headed steeply uphill. Once we were running on it, it looked vaguely familiar but then came across another fork in the road and wondered which way to go....but I found some handy dandy spectacles and so we were all set, pretty much. We did eventually make it to the correct water drop but only to realise that we had dropped the water in another location, sigh. So we ran/walked on the road for awhile until we found our oasis. Once we did get to the water, we were joined by a pair of siblings, probably about 10 and 13 years old who were fascinated by our running gear. The 13 year old girl was particularly fascinated with Owen's tattoo's and referred to them as "hella tight." They were kind enough to throw away our empties at their house which was just down the road. And they were really excited to get their photo taken.
After we refueled, we didn't really know where we were but followed the trail leading up and back towards the start, miles away. Eventually found our way thanks to 2 dudes on motorcycles/dirt bikes who told us it was a LONG way back to High Point and some luck. Although we didn't hit 12 summits, we managed about 40 miles with still quite a bit of climbing. A good run and getting "lost" was actually a highlight. It was quite an adventure. Here we are at the last summit!
Then down we went running pretty hard the last 3 miles to the parking lot. Great adventure for a hot sunny Friday!
I didn't realise how tired I was until I got home. I had to tell Struth that I was at the dentist all day long because I didn't want him to know I was trail running without him. I mean, with a face as cute as this one, it's really hard to know I've disappointed my dog by not taking him with me.

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