Sunday, April 30, 2006


Friday afternoon: On our way out of town, we stopped at Fleet Feet so that I could buy a new pair of shoes and some socks. This store didn’t disappoint. Great service and I felt that I was fitted properly. And oddly enough I was sold a pair of size 12’s! I have always bought 11’s or 11 -1/2’s. But the shoe felt good enough for me to want to try it on our practice walk.

Shopping done, we headed up the hill on our way to Susanville and a long practice walk on Saturday morning. The river along the highway, Deer Creek, was running high and fast with lots of blue green water. A real beauty! When we turned onto Highway 36 and left the river, we began to see water standing in the small meadows alongside the road. Water was everywhere! The flood control channel near Chester was running high with spectacular man-made waterfalls. And when we crossed the causeway at Almanor, we could see that the lake was as high as we had ever seen it.

Here’s a link to a photo blog I found and it has quite a few Lassen County photos in it…explore!

Jill and I got an early start on our practice, walking on the new walking/bicycle trail that runs along the Susan River. It’s great paved trail and meanders from near the Little League field down past Wal*Mart. (We bought water at Wal*Mart…good idea!) I think we did that section about 4 times before we headed back uptown and over to the trailhead of the Biz Johnson trail. Here we knew that we had at least 9 miles ahead of us.

I wish I could say that the trail experience was great…but the surface was so uneven after a hard winter that we were both grumbling as we picked our way through the rocks, big and small, that littered the trail. There were even a few VW sized rocks that had made their way down and onto the middle of the trail. Even with the hazards, we seemed to be making pretty good progress, until about the time my GPS unit said we done about 10 miles. That was when I first noticed the small itching sensation that signals the start of a blister. Darn!

I went another mile before I was talked into sitting down and putting a bandage on it. It didn’t look bad at all; we had caught it before it had become serious. I re-laced everything and we continued uphill at a slightly reduced pace.

We turned around at the first tunnel (A spooky place!) and shared a quick bite of a small Cliff Bar. We were both happy to have that water now, as there is nothing quite as dry as a Cliff Bar after 11 miles of hard trailing!

The return trip went well and we ended up with 17.1 miles in less than 4 hours. The hardest part of the trip? That had to be the walk up Main Street from Richmond Road to near Lassen Street where the car was parked. Nothing says “I’m done!” quite like a steep hill climb after a hard morning on the trail.

But of course we weren’t done…when we got back up to the house, we found a small chore waiting for us. The 36’ long floor joists for the Dunn addition needed to be turned around and placed on the waiting supports. I can tell you that they look great! And I know that Bill and Jill are happy to see some progress being made after an overly long winter.

My original plan was to do 18 miles, but considering the condition of the trail, I think we did an exceptional job…ending up with an estimated pace of 13.7 minute/miles and at an altitude of 4,200 feet.

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