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Thursday, November 30, 2006

a few random thoughts

I found an internet/coffee shop in Mt. Shasta after a little shopping along the street and meeting a very interesting lady who traveled a lot in her youth as well. This afternoon I’m heading up to Ashland to visit Hal & Carly and hoping that the passes are favorable for driving. Friday I’ll move on to Portland to visit a college friend/roommate, Stacy, and probably stop by the Montrail office to say hello as well. As long as the road conditions cooperate I hope to be back in Seattle sometime Saturday.

Wow! It is hard to believe that I have been at this for five months and that it is quickly coming to an end. As I drive through these cities and towns I am noticing the decorations for the holidays and can’t believe this time of year is here.
it's Christmas!
I’m having to dig in my bag past the shorts and tank tops for my scarf, hat and gloves. It is snowing like crazy in Seattle… I will get to put the snowshoes Matt bought me for my birthday to good use! I must admit I am looking forward to being in one place for a while, but I also have said that if I had another month or two I would keep at it. I love the freedom and spontaneity of this lifestyle and hope I can keep these in my day to day life as I move into the working world.

I accepted a job with Nathan and will visit their offices in Philadelphia after racing Hellgate 100k on December 9. I will begin working for them January 1st as a Promotions Manager and Tech Rep. I am excited to work with a core group, small company and stay in the industry. Nathan has been a very supportive brand of the Ultrarunning community.

This trip has helped me realize the importance of cross training. While in Seattle I have easy access to my gym, weight lifting, my bike, yoga classes and a variety of activities that compliment running. On the road most of my exercise hours are filled with running. I love the simplicity of running; all I need are my shoes, a sportbra and perhaps a handheld waterbottle and off I go. With this my body has reminded me (Patella tendonitis flared up) that I need the alternate activities to keep a balance of muscle strength. I have had to force myself into squats, push-ups, sit-ups and finding yoga classes in there various places I visit to help balance the increased running hours. It is very easy to get caught up in the ease of going for a run; the importance of keeping balance in training became very apparent. And honestly, I’ll admit I am feeling much better while running having focused on these other things.

Presidential Traverse:
Matt was finally able to post pictures and his blog about our traverse back in New Hampshire - Check it out at

Fun Visits

Tuesday I killed the late afternoon hanging out at the Fisherman’s Wharf. Enjoying soup in a bread bowl for lunch and popping into the Chocolate stores. For those of you who know me, I definitely have a sweet tooth. At Ghiradelli they hand out samples – yum! There was also a free museum of coin operated machines. Representations from all eras were present – I got a kick out of watching the kids play with the old time machines.

HEAVEN! Museum of coin operated machines

That night I found my way to Garett, Holly & Chief’s cute/creative home on the east side of the bay. They found a cute neighborhood and an awesome little home. Architects and home owners have to be creative in San Francisco. The houses are so close together, so making the best use of space is super important and it shows in the designs. They have a great home and a room all ready for the little one on the way. Ultrasound pictures on the fridge, crib & changing table assembled these two are ready and obviously very excited. They let me share some of my silly stories from the road over homemade pizza and we were able to share some outdoor industry scoop as well.

Garett, Holly & ??? (baby on the way!)

The next morning Chief showed me the trails at the Redwood Regional Park. Beautiful, well marked trails in a park inside the city that you would never know you were so close to it all. (reminded me of Wildwood in Portland) Chief ran great and probably ran twice the distance I did for all the doubling back that he did.

Redwood Regional Park - West Ridge Trail Redwood Regional Park - French Trail2

After the run I made my way north into Redding where I met Luanne & Max for an evening run around her neighborhood trails. She took me along the river and through some great little areas & trails that she is lucky to have so close to home. That night after a yummy dinner we jumped in the van to go check out the Sundial Bridge; the sight to see in Redding.

Luanne, Renee, Cooper, Max & Maggie

These visits are quick, but very enjoyable. I love getting to experience a piece of my friends’ lives. Everyone has been so welcoming and accommodating, I feel very lucky to have these visits as a part of my trip.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Driving North, heading home

This Trail Running Road Trip is quickly coming to an end; my plan is to be home sometime this weekend. On the way though I’m living up the last few days and squeezing in as many visits as possible.

I left the Hillyers Sunday afternoon after a relaxing post race morning and headed (at their recommendation) to Montana de Oro; a beautiful park right on the coast and about 10 miles off the 101. I arrived just in time to sneak in a 40 minute recovery run along the bluffs then settled in for the rainy night. My rain fly came in handy and kept me dry all night. Sleepy on the sore backside was a bit rough in the tent, but manageable. Bluff Trail views
The next morning I took my time rolling out of bed and camp then made my way back to the trails with 2 water bottles in hand and no real plan. I followed the Bluff Trail which lead me to the Coon Creek Trail which wound me up a canyon on a smooth, flat, runnable path. This ended up being an out and back, but on the way back I tried my luck at a spur trail – Rattlesnake Flats - and was treated to a small climb which lead me up to a beautiful view of the bluffs. I made it back to my car in about 2 hours and then went to stand in the wave ridden ocean. Not a bad morning.

coastal drive
I took the rest of the day to drive Hwy 1 into San Francisco, stopping in Monteray to kill a couple of hours along the way. Matt hooked me up with his friends Jenny & Steve who I had met while here in May for Miwok. It was great to visit with them again although brief. Jenny recommended a great yoga class this morning. Pretzel (the instructor’s name) was a contortionist preceding her yoga instruction days and lead an energizing class. After class, in my search for the local’s favorites, I asked about a good coffee shop within walking distance; with this I met a super spunky, fun-loving Suzanne who went to Tinkerbell’s coffee with me and told me all about her new business – Hopefully I can get her to put one on in Seattle.

Today I’m headed to the other side of the bay to stay with Garett and Holly Graubins. Garett planted the seed in my brain for this summer/fall road trip. It is amazing that our little chat at winter OR grew into such a great experience. I am excited to visit and share pictures from this idea that he helped me create.


Now that the results are posted I’d like to congratulate the Mom’s in Motion crew. Three women from the group finished the 35 mile race and 7 did a point to point (relay style). I think it is such an amazing accomplishment for these women to go from never having run trail to running in one of the toughest runs as their first ultra experience. Tara did a fantastic job coaching these women through the 18 week period.

Chris also had a great run finishing 8 minutes faster than his time last year.
RD Luis Escobar finished the race in what ended up being his slowest time ever, but with race directing and everything else, quite a feat to run it too.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Santa Barbara

After 17 hours of travel to get from New Hampshire to Santa Barbara (it was ridiculous) I settled into Chris & Tara’s (vacationing in Hawaii) with Lucy their lab. I had the week to check out Santa Barbara and get ready for Santa Barbara 9 Trails. On Wednesday I went to a wonderful yoga class at Golden Tree Yoga and then to Our Daily Bread for coffee and a muffin, recommended by Dan (Bishop) who used to live in town. BEST MUFFIN! Then I made my way down to Ventura to have lunch with my buddy Craig who works at Patagonia. The Patagonia offices are amazing; for example the parking lot is covered with solar panels which do the obvious and also provide shade for the cars. It was great to visit with Craig and catch up. Craig was one of my first friends in the outdoor industry as he and I worked very closely on the organization of the Montrail/Patagonia team.

RD Luis Escobar
On Friday I joined last year’s champion James Elliot and his friends Rick and Tim to mark the course. Tim and I, both planning on running the race, helped haul chalk and mark trails the first 9 miles. It was fun to run with some locals and ease into the next day’s race. That night I attended the prerace dinner at Savoy Truffles. Paul Shields is a 9 Trails finisher and owns this tasty little restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. He put together one of the best prerace meals out there and the restaurant was packed. Luis Escobar (RD) and Patsy (race founder and co-RD) entertained us with race facts, important tips and stories from past events.

Chris, Tara and Logan arrived home at 11 on Friday night, I picked them up at the airport, we hurried home, slept for a couple hours then got up for the race. It was a little chilly Saturday morning but the sun rose quickly and only a few miles into the run I was happy I opted for sleeveless and gloves. The top guys took off fast and in an effort to avoid getting stuck I tried to tag along and still keep my heart rate around 150. 9 Trails is an out and back course that connects nine of the foothills trails of the Santa Barbara Mountains. Runners stay between 600ft and 2400ft so there is plenty of climbing and descending to make up the course’s 11k feet of gain. And rocky! The terrain is by no means reminiscent of Miwok’s smooth coastal trails. There is plenty of tricky footing to hold your attention. Some of the highlights include the bamboo tunnel, hot springs and the views of the Channel Islands from Gibraltor Road (only 1 mile of pavement).

On the way out when ducking through the tunnel I missed the overhead pipe (because I was wearing a visor) and knocked myself silly and flat on my back. As I tried to shake that off and get back to running I remembered the Clif shot in my back pocket and my iPod… the iPod was cracked but still playing music and coated in mocha mocha. My first thought was – hey, now I can get that new shuffle.

At the turn around I handed off a water bottle to Stu (race day RD so Luis could run the race) and checked my watch – 3:24. The female course record that I was after was 6:51:31. Realizing I was going to need to work for that record I didn’t spend much time at any of the aid stations and tried to run everything. When lacking motivation I recalled Matt pacing me at Waldo – he made me run more than I thought I could and that paid off so I imagined him doing the same here. To fuel this run Clif donated their new Pina Colada shot bloks and Go Mango shot to the race – both are my new favorites!

Jamie and Jill (Mom's in Motion) finishing relay
Popping out on road to the finish line Patsy was screaming “You broke the record!” with arms wide open waiting to greet me with a huge hug. All I could think was this course chews you up and spits you out into Patsy’s arms and Patsy swallows you whole. I really enjoyed the challenge of this course, the constant change of terrain, the views, the helpful volunteers and excitement for ultras that Patsy exudes. Luis does a fantastic job pulling together this event from the prerace dinner to the miso and sandwiches waiting at the finish line the attention to detail is top notch. The course was marked super well thanks to James, the aid stations were well stocked thanks to Mark and the finish area well organized with results, massage, eats and awards. It is apparent that the community really supports this event and helps add some special touches.

New Hampshire

November 16-20 I flew to New Hampshire to visit Matt who was home (east coast boy) visiting his parents for the holidays. I wasn’t able to stay for Thanksgiving as I needed to be back in Santa Barbara for a race that following weekend.

Presidential Range model
While there, Matt put together a great traverse of the Presidential Mountains for us. The 26 miles took us 12 hours and 15 minutes. It is a super rocky trek, lots of high stepping and tricky footing which I don’t move so well on. Matt was very patient as I slowly found my way down the various descents. Along the way we hit each of the 10 peaks which sometimes meant taking a side trail and others the main trail went right over the trip. We had a spectacular day and even scored the record high temp for November. Because of this we were a bit overdressed, but better over prepared than under. Matt took the pictures which he will post when he gets home this week.

We spent the rest of the weekend visiting Matt’s childhood friends in Portsmouth and a couple of recovery runs around his Mom’s house in Freedom.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Flying Around

Flying around
Since leaving Southern Utah I made my way west and enjoyed a wonderful stopover in Bishop, CA. I stayed with photographer Dan Patitucci in the most colorful home I have ever seen! awesome colors - living room to kitchen He gives most of the credit to his wife Jeanne for the creativity and time. Bishop is definitely off the beaten path with the essentials on main street, a good coffee shop – Black Sheep - in the local book store and a great bakery – The Great Basin Bakery - but the draw to and beauty of the town lying in the hills.

Dan & Kurt Dan had a photo shoot Thursday morning so I tagged along and ran while he and Kurt took care of business. I got to run out and back towards Bishop Pass for about two and a half hours. I didn’t take any pictures on the way out because I wanted to see how far I could get, but did stop for a few on the way back. Bishop Pass run The whole run I kept wondering… how am I ever going to motivate to get out and run once back in wet Seattle this winter after experiencing such fantastic running all fall?

Friday before skipping town Phil Kiddoo and I got out for a quick hour run in the White Pines. A good little loop with a decent climb (my heart rate was up there!) and nice views of town, the valley and surrounding peaks (I forgot my camera.)

That afternoon in route to Santa Barbara I stopped over in Ridgecrest for a couple of hours to visit Rick and Barb, great friends that I met through ultrarunning and caught off guard on Thursday evening with a call asking if I could stop by for a visit. Fortunately they had the day off for Veterans Day so we had a beautiful, delicious lunch complete with apple, ginger, carrot juice – yum! And toured their property. the targetIt turns out Rick is quite into archery. It didn’t take much arm twisting to get him to pull out the kit and we all took turns, with Rick’s instruction and help, at shooting the bail of hay. Barb and I used the bow they bought for the grandkids while Rick assembled his beautiful custom bow. A super fun afternoon.

I arrived late evening in Santa Barbara to stay with friends Chris, Terra & Logan again. Terra and I woke at 6 to join the last training run for the Moms in Motion group that Terra coaches. We ran the first 10 miles of the 9 Trails course – again, that race is going to be a butt kicker!

Saturday evening I flew home and was greeted at the airport by Matt; so nice to be back in the city again even though it has poured nearly the entire visit! I returned home for a final Montrail get together; Boo, Chris, Jenny & Menno organized a “Turning out the Lights” Party. It was great to see all of those faces back together again, hear how everyone is doing and see that everyone has moved on and landed in good places.

This morning it’s back to Santa Barbara then tomorrow on to New Hampshire to visit Matt and his family… hence the title – flying around.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tour of Southern Utah comes to an end

Lower Emerald Pools
Originally uploaded by kmoehl2000.

How often does every run of the week get to be one where you are stopped by the beauty that surrounds you? You try to take a picture, but it just can't capture what you are seeing and feeling? This week of visiting some very special places in Southern Utah has been an experience unlike any other I've had. Every run takes me to another beautiful place; I feel like a kid in a huge playground. Today I had hikers comment that I was smiling as I ran up ahead - how could I not?

I am now sitting in Cedar City after a day of indulgence (20 mile run, dinner out in Springdale at Oscar's Cafe, a chocolate pumpkin pie blizzard with oreos - I have weird cravings - and a hotel room) reflecting on the last couple of days and in a way I feel without words to explain this time spent alone in southern Utah. (perhaps I'm seriously over-indulged with all of this running and today's top off) In any case, hopefully I've captured some of these travels and experiences in the pictures. I've added more pictures to the National & State Parks picture folder on (click on any of these to see more)
Upper Emerald Pool
I think this is my "happy place" Upper Emerald Pool in Zion
ridge trail
cool view
on the loop at Bryce

I do know that I'll be back! I've already mapped out and made a list of stops for my next trip to southern Utah.

Tomorrow I head west - plan to stay in Bishop with the Patituccis. If you want to see some REALLY good photos check out their website

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pictures from Southern Utah

upheaval canyon
Originally uploaded by kmoehl2000.
Hopefully you can link to this set of pictures.

Yesterday after a morning run in Fish and Owl Canyons (just a place I found while driving) I toured the Natural Bridges. Then headed to Canyonlands and snuck in the 5.8 mile Neck Springs Loop just before sunset. Camped out in Willow Flats Campground then went out for the 5 star Upheaval Loop. More of a scramble than a run this loop (plus an out and back) were beautiful and challenging.

After the run I made my way to Green River, Ut and took my first shower in a couple of days (not nearly as bad as the CT though) in the Truck Stop. I found a Wi-Fi connection at the friendly Robbers Roost to catch up with the world a bit and am now headed out to Goblin Valley, Bryce and Zion.

Enjoy the day!

A room with a view

A room with a view
Originally uploaded by kmoehl2000.
Is this not an amazing place to wake up?

I'm out on my tour of Southern, Utah and Roch has made some of the best suggestions. I've slept in some amazing places, had entire campgrounds to myself, enjoyed 3 beautiful runs, taken full advantage of my National Parks pass and finally showered at a truck stop in Green River this evening and am headed to Goblin Valley for some more!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


On our way north, Thursday 10/26, from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon Matt and I stayed with Ric and Dawn in Flagstaff. Ric took us on a 9 mile trail which only gave us a taste of all there is to explore. Roch and Catherine joined us there and Ian T made an appearance at dinner. Ric out did himself with Jureker tempeh tacos and black bean salad. True to form I brought dessert and we were all still full from great/funny conversation and too much food the next morning. That didn't stop Roch, Catherine, Matt and I from heading downtown to check out Macy's for breakfast and coffee - a great little European coffee house/restaurant. We walked around town, checked out the museum, bought pumpkin pies and continued north to the canyon. It was great to see displays and explanations of how the canyon was formed and artifacts from the different time periods these rocks represent. Like I mentioned in my birthday write up; seeing this makes one realize how little time mankind has really been on this earth. Flag is a must see town.

moving on

This morning Matt flew back to Seattle and I said goodbye to Ashley and Nate, friends I've been staying with for the last week. It has been so nice to reconnect, hang out with these two (and there pups Bella and Loa), and have a feeling of home away from home. Last night we made a few halloween appetizers, carved pumpkins, dressed as Billiard Balls (I'll have to post a pic) and went out for dinner and to a heaven & hell party. It was a fun Halloween night. I still can't believe Ash and I got the guys to dress up with us.

Billiard Balls

It is time to move on and explore southern Utah. Roch highlighted my atlas, gave me maps and wrote notes of all the must dos; I am excited for this self guided adventure. Will post as internet is available. I hope there were some other costume wearers last night! I'd love to see pictures. Happy HALLOWEEN!!! (probably my favorite holiday)