Monday, December 10, 2012

Chasing the UP844 in Nevada

On September 28th the Union Pacific 844 steam train came through Reno/Sparks again. I took some time on the 27th to take the tour like I did the last time it visited. It was beautiful as ever, polished and prepped for everyone to tour and gawk at. In addition to being huge and beautiful, the tours are free to the public. The Nugget in Sparks allowed everyone free parking and a free shuttle to the train. All the drivers had a great attitude and a smile.

I spent about and hour and a half checking out this amazing train then visited with the folks from the Nevada Railroad Museum and made my way back to the truck. The following morning I waited in West Reno to see the train leave town. Then with some time to spare, I decided to chase her down again by Truckee at Boca. It offered a great view of the 844 coming around a bend and then heading along the freeway towards the town of Truckee.

I wish you could have been there to see and hear this rolling piece of history as she steamed on past. It is an amazing sight that really wakes up your senses and for some odd reason causes grown adults to start waving as she passes by. Here is a video I made to share the experience with you. Hope you enjoy it and get out to see her for yourself if the UP844 is coming through your town.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Mt Rose Summit Again!

I made it to the top. Heaven on Earth maybe?
So it was nearing the end of Summer and I decided to see one of my favorite places again. The Mt Rose Summit trail is my go to thinking and pondering trail. I like to use it to iron out my stinking thinking and get ready for Winter. Usually I make the hike toward the end of Summer right around the time of the Reno Air Races. This year the weather was wonderful as I cleared away a Monday for a free morning to hit the hill again. This year I decided to try and run up to the summit.

Looking down towards Reno.
I guess I forgot how steep this trail gets as it totally kicked my ass this year. I made it but not before having to go into a power walk up some sections of the trail. Wow, it was steep! It was till a blast and really just what I was looking for to clear my head and make me feel alive. Once at the top I stopped to check out the view and let me tell you it was breathtaking. 360 degrees of amazing beauty. Tahoe, Truckee, carson City and Reno all within a turn at the top. I sat and pondered and remembered all the great thinks I had experienced this year. I thought of the thinks I was going to do in the time before I would be back here again. I sort of just let my mind wander and it was great.

I took a few photos while I was there to remember the day and then put my head back on my shoulders and got ready for the decent. Ran all the way back to the parking lot coming down then had a cold chocolate milk and a power bar and headed back home.

What a great day. I still glance up at Mt Rose when I drive down the road and remember the summit and the beauty and the power it seems to have to take my troubles away. Can't wait to get back ... just as soon as the snow melts enough. I do wonder if folks snowshoe to the summit in the Winter? Well maybe someday, for now I will wait.

Peace, Love and Bliss,


First Half Marathon RunEdRun 2012

So after a few months of running, I decided to try a half marathon (13.1 miles). I found one in Douglas County at the High School that sounded like fun. It was called RunEdRun and was to benefit the Douglas County School District. The entry fee was not high and the course was pretty flat so I thought this would be the perfect first attempt at a Half Marathon.

Between the 10K in Ashland in July and October 7th I got in a few 13 mile training long runs so I knew I could do the distance. I was also pretty sure that I was not going to be up with the leaders. With both of those considerations in check the only thing left to decide was what condition would I be in after the race. I knew to take it easy and not go out too fast so that I would have something left for the last half of the race. I knew that in my mind but must have forgot to tell my legs that. I went out with everyone else, once around the track before leaving and heading to Genoa. I should have known that we were on a pretty fast pace as I could hear the announcer reminding the runners to save something for the end. Oh well I felt great and was running right with the pack.

Off we went down some beautiful city streets and then out into a farmers pasture. The pasture part was neat because were running on a dirt road and right past cows. The cows looked at us like we were crazy as the farmers opened all the gates and gave us that same "you are crazy" look.

Once across the pastures we were on the paved roads again and heading towards Genoa. The roads were pretty quiet and amazingly flat. I mean really flat, what a great course for a first Half Marathon. Into the little historical town of Genoa and turn left. We were on our way past David Walley's Hot Springs and some nice homes. Then another left turn and we were on another long flat run back towards the High School.

At one point we started passing the runners from the shorter races. It was really fun to give them a high five and send some encouragement their way. Some were struggling and a good word seemed to give them a little more juice to keep going to the end.

Back at the High School their was a finish line and awards for the top finishers. They also had some Spirit competitions for the local schools to compete for money that would go to the winning schools.

I finished way faster than I ever expected to finish. My finish time was 2 hours and 8 minutes. I probably should have run slower to keep the soreness down after but what the heck, it was a race.

I am looking forward to my next race now. It will be the Eugene Marathon in Eugene Oregon in April 2013. Not too far off to start getting excited about it already.

See you on the road...