AM- After 2 days in the mountains at a church youth retreat, it was time to run again. It started raining Fri at noon and hadn't stopped when Cody showed up for the run at 10:30 am on Sat. The plan was to run from Right Hand Fork of Logan Canyon backwards along the Bear 100 course- up Ricks Hollow, along some dirt road, then down Richards Hollow. We tried to run up Richards Hollow on May 1 and only made it 1.5 miles to the waterfall due to snow- we wanted to make it all the way to our previous turnaround so we could say we had covered this whole portion.
It was cool and rainy when we started, and would stay this way most of the run, although there were long patches with no rain. Thankfully, the rain was never too heavy, and we both commented numerous times on how nice the weather was, given it easily could have been miserable. The entire way was muddy/puddly, sometimes very slick and goopy, but kind of fun.
The run up Ricks was normal- I have run it many times, always up. I felt sluggish and my stomach wasn't happy from all the food of the past 2 days. But I felt better by the time we hit the road and a steady climb to a summit. The 800 ft descent was muddy with lots of fallen trees to climb over. We reached the Cowley Aid location, which was the muddiest of the whole run. Then we climbed 800 ft up another road to another pass, with 2 ATV's and 2 dirt bikes passing us- the only people we would see all run.
Just after the pass we turned onto Richards Hollow. It was a glorious trail- that's really the only way I can describe it. Most of the run was down a high-alpine, 20 to 50 meter wide meadow that had a stream meandering alongside, with multiple beaver dams along the way. Probably one of the prettiest areas I have ever seen for a run- I would love to camp there for a while. Just amazing, secluded, and beautiful. The stream was quite high and we crossed it about a dozen times on the way down- I formed a dry crossing the first time by throwing in rocks, but we quickly discovered we would cross it many times- sometimes 4 times in 100 yards! We eventually gave up on trying to keep our feet dry. The bottom portions of the trail did get a bit steeper, but we eventually reached the waterfall, about 13 miles and 2:08 in.
The way back was quite enjoyable with no people the whole way. We stopped a few times to enjoy some gorgeous overlooks. It started raining harder near the end and the trail was particularly muddy and puddly, so I just ran clear through the mud. Finished with a negative split of 2:05, followed by a wade into the creek, shoes and all. 4:13. Garmin says 25.5 miles with 10,000 vertical, SportTracks says 25.9 miles with 7250 vertical, Bear 100 mileages say 25.9 miles with 7000 ft vertical. I'll go with 26 miles and 7000 vertical.
Great run today- hard to beat a day like today with mild weather and great trails. I hadn't planned on running Richards again, but I may have to mid-week sometime.