June 3, 2006

Gates, gates, and more gates, aaauuuggggg....

Last Saturday I ran the Salt Lake Canal road until I reached my turn-around mileage. Later that evening, I went to mapmyrun.com and checked the mileage from that point to the pumping station at the head of the canal. The distance was within the mileage for my turn-around point for a 15-miler. Great! I thought; I'll drive to that point and run to the pumping station and up the hill to Thanksgiving Point. At last, I will reach my dream!

So, this morning I drove to my stopping point last week and started running. Two miles later I was stopped by a gate across the path. I respect private property and gates, so I found a short detour around the gate, using city streets, and continued running. A mile later, another gate! By this time I was getting away from the city streets and there was no easy detour around this gate, unless I wanted to climb a fence and bushwhack through sage brush. So, I turned back and said good by to the Salt Lake Canal as a way to Thanksgiving Point.

On the way back to my car, I noticed another canal not far away (I'm out far enough that the canals are merging close together to go through the Point of the Mountain and into the Jordan Narrows) and a maintenance road next to the canal. I drove around until I found that maintenance road. This canal is the one that goes through the valley following the general path of 13th West. Before I started running this new road, I talked with a man and asked if it was ok to leave my car in front of his house. He said, "Sure!" While talking with him, I learned that that road is a private road and goes into a new gated community. So I gave up on that canal as a way to Thanksgiving Point. The man suggested that I run the Jordan River Parkway. I had looked for the parkway last week and drove right by the trail-head without seeing it. He said the trail-head was less than a mile away.

I drove to the Jordan River Parkway and ran about 3 miles north. I couldn't go south, because the trail-head on 146th South is the end of the parkway (for now; eventually the State will have it through into Utah County -- the goal is to have it connect Ogden, Salt Lake City, and Provo, a distance of 70 or 80 miles). The parkway is paved and goes through some pretty country -- 10-foot trees and tall bushes along portions of it. I went through a wetlands area and saw a Pelican in the water. The parkway has some nice hills, not large hills but big enough (maybe 20-25 feet high) to help me get used to them.

My total distance was about 13 miles. My wakeup HR was 51.

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