I had my first failure of a trail run on September 30th. Long story short, I drove two hours to Deception Creek, it ended up raining when I arrived, trailhead was deserted, trail itself was overgrown, and that’s not even the worst of it. The trail was COVERED in spiderwebs. Every few feet. Thick, stringy, spiderwebs that I swear were all at my face height. And so I gave up after about a mile of bushwacking, slipping, dripping wet, and eating spiderwebs. But there was a neat log bridge, which was cool. Pic to come late. And to be fair, old growth forests do usually look pretty cool on rainy days. But an un-runnable trail paired with my biggest fear (spiderwebs) was enough to turn me around.
Luckily, the next day was more successful. Annette Lake, a short foggy lake trail just a short drive from Seattle.
- Distance: 7.5 miles round trip
- Elevation: 1400ft elevation gain, steady, pretty flat
- Weather: 50’s and cloudy
- Commute from Seattle: 50 minutes
- Did I trip: Yes (and I’m still recovering from it a week later)
Solid rainy day run! Elevation gain was slow enough that I could run most of it. A little more technical than I expected since there were lots of roots and rocks, which get pretty slippery after a night of rain. But the lake was a beautiful clear turquoise color, even in the clouds, and there was a small pretty waterfall across the water. I’m sure it’s even better on a sunny day.
I ran into a few people backpack-hitchhiking from Seattle back to their home somewhere in Montana, and we were equally shocked to see each other. They scared the crap out of me coming around a corner, since I didn’t expect to see anyone up there on a rainy Wednesday morning. They were relieved to see a person, though. Turned out they were told to “go over the mountain” instead of walking down I90 through a construction zone, but they had no maps, no cell service, and no idea if they were headed towards I90 or just lost on a mountain. I wish I had had food or anything to offer, but all I had was pepperoni and peanut butter back in my car. Next time.
The downside of this hike? I absolutely ate it on my way back down. No idea what I tripped over, but I tumbled pretty hard off the side of the trail. No one saw, so I lay there face down in defeat for a few seconds before determining if I broke anything. The answer seemed to be no, just some blood and pain and a little nausea, so I kept running.
Who needs knees anyway? I figured I might as well get back to the car as fast as possible. I had no first aid equipment with me but I had towels in the car, so that was the goal. I stopped every hundred feet or so to try and sop up what I could with leaves. Couldn’t ruin my feetures elite socks, they were white! I spent the rest of the day at work while my coworkers mocked me for hobbling down stairs and not being able to kneel. Or squat. Or do anything involving my right leg. I tipped over helping my first customer. Just fell sideways in slow motion while trying to kneel. Bruised patellas suck. Worth it? Probably yes. The next morning I got a mass email from Fleet Feet Seattle with the owner (Brian Morrison!) saying he broke his foot on a trail run the previous weekend. It’s all part of the sport. I was more embarrassed than injured, but if a seasoned ultrarunner like Brian can break something on a run, then I’m lucky I haven’t just straight up died yet.
Here’s one last picture to make up for the legs. It’s just a bridge towards the beginning of the trail, but it’s actually more scenic than most of the hike was. Might as well leave on a good note!