A few weekends ago I was lucky enough to be able to test my technical skills over a mere 6 miles of the extensive Silver Star Scenic Area in southern Washington. Not only trail running skills, but driving skills as well! I’ve seen warnings written in trail reviews before regarding road conditions to the trail head, and I believe this is the first time I felt they were understated. I certainly put my Subaru Crosstrek to the test, and it came through with flying colors! Sadly I didn’t think to take photos of the road conditions, but do note that they were not pleasant!
A few hundred feet from the trailhead I threw in the towel for fear of bottoming out my car, so I parked on the side of the road and we started jogging up to the trail. At the trail head the only vehicles were older Subarus, Jeeps, 4×4 pick-up trucks and a few tricked out SUV’s. Brave drivers!
At this point I’d been sitting in a car for 5 hours… unfortunately my body doesn’t do well with quick transitions, and always seems to take a while to warm up. Especially when I’ve been sedentary for hours on end. Lucky for me, the views started right off the bat, so motivation wasn’t hard to embark. Slowly but surely I trudged up the trail, hoping my muscles would remember that I needed them this day.
Four volcano’s could be seen almost immediately, and I kept mixing them up due to the light clouds that covered up just the top of the peaks. Regardless, Helens, Adams, Rainier, and Hood all looked magical. (Mt Hood is just out of my lens’s reach in this photo, but look closely and you’ll see the other three!)
The view from Silver Star Mountain was phenomenal, and left me wishing we had more time to explore the area.
The 6 mile loop we chose took me ridiculously too long. It had all of the things I still need to work on regarding technique…. scrambling, snow, and trails with loose rocks. I’m more of a “deer trail in the wilderness” kind of girl currently, excelling on dirt trails with roots, bushes, trees, and windy paths. This adventure was certainly an eye opener to what I need to work on to be able to be prepared for all that may be put in front of me this running season. It was also a reminder of how quickly your estimated miles-per-hour goal can be crushed due to slowing down in areas you’re not comfortable with yet.
Six miles can be cake, or it can be a struggle that scares the crap out of you! All the more reason to get out, expose yourself to terrain you might not enjoy, but still most likely will encounter if you’re serious about exploring the trails!
In the end you’ll be able to see some amazing sights that the majority of the population doesn’t have the luxury or viewing wth their own eyes. Always be prepared mentally for situations that you may not be comfortable with. Identify the areas that you need to improve on, and either work hard to get there, or chose another route!
These are just a few things that I learned on this adventure…. cheers until next time!