as i mentioned in my previous post i had planned a 65 mile loop. since we ran the biggest section of it the day before (see previous blog post) i was out to run the other big section - staircase to first divide, and possibly to duckabush and back, for anywhere from 29-38 miles.
i allowed myself 8hrs of sleep after the stress of the nigh before (not to mention the 37 mile run). i woke up, had a red bull (forgot to bring the french press), some oatmeal, a banana and hit the trail. starting at staircase campground i ran up the north fork skokomish river trail. this was great beautiful trail along the river and a gradual climb to the nine stream camp ground (very cool place to camp). from there it climbed up to first pass. when i arrived i met my 3rd park ranger of the day. i had one of those conversations that happen to ultra runners all the time. "you are doing what?". he had never heard of anyone making it to first divide in 3hrs apparently. i wasn't moving that fast truth be told. my heart rate never exceeded my anaerobic threshold all day.
after first divide i dropped down to the home sweet home campground and then started the decent before the climb to duckabush. it was obvious that if i attempted duckabush i would be another 4-5,000 feet of climbing and a lot more time. that combined with the fact that there were "37 downed trees on the trail up duckabush" made me turn around after just a short decent.
map of both routes (this one is the eastern most marked in red)
the entire olympic national park map
i arrived at the car and had to just over 3 more miles to get 70 for the two days so i headed down a spur trail along the river. then i soaked the legs in the north fork of the skokomish river for a few minutes and headed back to seattle. amazing weekend, amazing park.. and i'm now ready to put that loop together for one big run. actually i'm torn. run the big 65 mile loop or run a different trail in the park? hmm..