Sunday, May 25, 2008

Running with the wind at Canyon De Shelley, Arizona

Well, I finally returned from the Navajo Reservation, and I have to admit, it was one of the most inspirational trips of my life. It was full of good conversation, service work to the Navajos, a lot of great road trips, eating Navajo tacos, and just enjoying life. I got to do some real trail running for a change...not the San Angelo State park, or the short, and not very challenging trails out at Abilene State park. I was actually able to run at Canyon De Shelley, and with that, one of my dreams came true. I have always wanted to do that, but let me tell you, the trail we ran was intensive and one of the hardest runs I have ever done. The trail was mostly rock and hard packed gravel and some soft sand in places. To make it even more interesting, it started raining midway down, which made the rocks slippery. The friends I was running with were younger, stronger, and faster, but I stayed with them, even though I thought the pace was a dangerous one considering the conditions. However, the payoff was at the bottom of the canyon, and once we hit the bottom of the canyon, we came across an ancient Pueblo (Anasasi) ruin that was at least a thousand years old. We stopped and took some time to look, transfixed with what lay before us! Then, we had to run out of the canyon, and that was no easy chore, but it was exhilerating.

We also got to do a lot of hiking in such places at Mesa Verde, Colorado, and climbed rocks at Shiprock, New Mexico, and Chaco Canyon in New mexico. It was an unforgettable trip, and we finally arrived last night, and as we approached Sweetwater, we encountered the most intense rain storm I have ever driven through. What a way to end a trip!

Jerry

2 comments:

KcandyP said...

Hey Jerry,

Sounds like you had a wonderful experience. Both of my children have been to Chinle to serve the Navajos twice and both times went to the Canyon. I told Tanner (our son) about you running there and he talked about how much he enjoyed running there. Something most of us will never get to do! Now it's back to boring old Abilene :). We had a great Memorial Day run and social time. Wish you had been able to join us, hopefully we will see you Saturday. I gave Bill a bag of running shoes for your trip to Africa, hope you can use them.

Susan

Jerry Hollingsworth said...

Thank you so much, Susan....! WE did have a great time, and I appreciate the shoes very, very much. I will see you guys on Saturday morning. I need to do a 10 or 12 mile run saturday.