Running Arizona, Like a Lunatic.
Pictured above are Kristi and I's premium Luna Adventure Sandals, my footwear of choice for this adventure run.
About half way through I branched off of the Arizona Trail in favor of a Kachina Wilderness trail that would eventually lead me to Arizona Snowbowl, my final destination. This final 6-8 miles in the Kachina Wilderness were the prettiest and toward the end the hardest miles of the run. Initially, 9000 feet of elevation brought vast green meadows and groves of stunning aspen to run through.
Later toward Snowbowl, Kachina served more more of her wild side with tricky roots, fallen granite boulders, an elusive wild-cat running through the shadows, and some nasty basalt from her volcanic days. It was in the final 2-3 miles that interspersed blinding white sun, black shade, and technical trail conspired to deprive me of my favorite pinky toe-nail. But it still looked good outside and so did I, so after some old ladies told me to bother only running when people were watching I hobbled myself to the base area proud of a nice climb and satisfied by some amazing Arizona scenery. I can't wait to get back and perhaps run the ATA Stagecoach 100 sometime in the next couple years.
Here's the route I took: