Last year, this was not only the first time they held the Prairie Creek 5k/Half Marathon but it was also the first race I ever ran. This year we returned to run it again. (Here is last year’s post)
My NikePlus App has trouble keeping up with me on the densely covered trail around the prairie so it thinks I went further than a 5K. I had trouble getting to a comfortable pace this year, once I found it I was nearly finished with the race. I need to slow down at the start, desperately. I am not going to win and I should know that but I still I start way to fast.
This is one of the most beautiful races, I love this area; Travis and I tease that we would live in the park if they would let us. We both managed to finish even if it felt a 1000x harder this year, not sure why exactly! After we ‘ran’ 3.1 miles I apparently won a free kayak trip…but I had to use it this year and we had some GREAT hikes to do and we only come up once a year. So, my new prize will be a surprise! (THANKS DEBI!)
After watching a few online videos by the park service, which looked like they were made 30 years ago, we decided to hike the Damnation Creek Trail in Del Norte Park. It came highly recommended by the park ranger, even with the 1000′ elevation drop.
On the way down to the Pacific Ocean, we kept thinking it was going to be tough coming back and boy was it but it was so so very worth it! Best 4 mile hike we have accomplished together. We finally spotted Banana Slugs, which is super cool and gross at the exact same time, and we had beautiful sunlight coming in through the fog and trees at the top of the hike. It’s a great hike because there are 3 levels of trees; Redwoods at the top, then Douglas Firs and Sitka Spruces closest to the ocean. I admit the redwoods are my favorites.
On Sunday, we got up and went to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, last year when we saw the sign for it we knew it would be a place to visit in the future and thankfully it was an easy 1.5 mile hike. Our bodies could feel both the 5K and the damnation creek trail that morning. It was an easy self guided tour with little elevation change and practically ADA accessible with lots of benches to sit and enjoy the sights and birds.
This is kind of our place, those trees and that fog. It’s the one place we have ‘vacationed’ to multiple times now and we come back feeling refreshed.