Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fall Creek Loop: Before I Lose My Mind

Head of Fall Creek
Fall Creek Lake #1

Fall Creek Lake #1

After every big race that I run I always take two weeks off of any running for rest but by the end of two weeks I'm just itching to go out for some long miles. So this week after our long road trip I needed to get out and get some miles in before I lose my mind. Since our trip didn't go the way we planned we ended it early, so at the last minute I decided to do the Fall Creek Loop. I have been wanting to do this trip for the last couple of years now and have done it but I wanted to do it all in one day because we did it in one day 13 years ago when I was about 10 years old. Its a hard loop to do with 3500 feet of elevation gain and decent over about 13 miles but I knew I could do it with all my ultra marathon training and racing background.
Fall Creek Lake #2

Fall Creek Lake #2

I wanted to start pretty early because it was hot the day before and it was going to be hot that day too, so I started at the trail head at 7 and I didn't get hit by the sun until 9, an hour later and I was at the first lake. What I love about Fall Creek is all the amazing views and how you never seem to run into anyone. When I left this morning there was 8 cars parked at the trail head and I only saw five people all day. But going to some remote places also helps. When I was hiking up to the head of Fall Creek I'm always on the lookout for mountain goats because its prime area for them; rocky cliffs, a few meadows and no people to worry about. I was also thinking that if I ever went hermit this would be the place where I would live. I would catch me a baby mountain goat and raise it as my own. We would hike all day over the Pioneers until one of us dies and I would be know as the man with a mountain goat. Just some food for thought, maybe after college.
Mountain Goats Point of View
Angel Lake
Angel Lake
When I finished the loop, it wasn't as tough as I thought it would be and I wasn't even that tired. When I got home I was comparing it to my recent ultra race and I would have to do the Fall Creek Loop twice to even come close to the elevation gain of the River of No Return 50K, and three times for the elevation gain of my upcoming race Wild Idaho. Over the years I have always been thinking about a unique race that I could come up with and this loop would be perfect for it. This race would consist of two things; running and fishing. In this race you would have to run the distant but you would have to stop at every lake and catch a fish before you could move on. I somewhat gave it a try today. I was able to catch a fish at every lake in a matter of minutes but I continued to fish because I needed to enjoy myself somehow don't I. If it was a race my time would be 10 hours, I started at the trail head at 7am and got done at 5pm, can anyone beat that?
Standhopes 60K Monster

Ultra Training

Moose Lakes

Moose Lake #2

Moose Lake

Golden At Fall Creek #1

Cutbow At Fall Creek #2

Cutbow At Angel Lake

Brookie At Moose Lake #2

Brookie At Moose Lake

After the day was over I was thinking on the car ride home about how light my backpack was and how it didn't weigh me down at all. So I thought I would write a list of what I had and what improvements I could make on it and some things I could add to make it into a lightweight overnighter. So here is what I have so far and on the side I wrote what I used. My pack weighed a total of 15 pounds and with my overnighter stuff it weighed at 20 pounds. I'm interested to give it a try, maybe this weekend if I can get someone to go with me.
My Lightweight Backpack Gear
Lightweight Backpack List
Gregory Z30--Used
Stoic Vaporshell Rain Jacket
Patagonia Down Jacket
Saucony River of No Return Jacket--Used
Minnesota Twins Hat
Two Salmon-Challis Maps
Small Notebook with Pens--Used
First Aid Kit--Used
Two Knifes/Fire starter
Para cord/Sunglasses
Ipod Nano/Yurbuds Ironman Headphones--Used
Petzl Headlamp
Katadyn Water Filter--Used
Fishing Gear:
2x/3x Tippet--Used
8wt Flyrod--Used
Nalgene 32oz--Used
Two PPJ Sandwiches
Two Poptarts
Two Granola Bars
Trail Mix
One GU Brew Tablet

Stuff For Overnighter
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
3M Plastic Tarp
Pocket Rocket/Fuel
GSI Halulite Minimalist

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