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The Loveliest Trail

My good friend Sophie invited us down to the Southern end of Shenandoah National Park for one of her legendary runs. 

Am I ever glad we made the journey.

All of us at the start. Not sure why I'm holding my leg up.
It was the perfect summer trail adventure. Stream crossings abounded, so many I lost count. Sophie claims she has run this trail during dry spells and finished with dry feet. I am dubious.

One of many stream crossings. My shoes are still wet three days later.
The weather was cool, the humidity was low, and the trail was like a dream.  It was smooth and runnable. Even the uphills were gentle. 

Hubz and I
There were several overlooks with pretty views of the valley. The mountain laurel were in full bloom.

Mountain Laurel, everywhere along the trail
Two runners braving the coldest swimming hole south of Alaska

We lollygagged and laughed and sauntered through the woods, cooled off in natural pools, and marveled at the beauty of our surroundings.

Those 21 miles were over far too soon.

This run transported me back to childhood days of open-ended exploration with no schedules, obligations or distracting thoughts about pace, miles or cutoffs.

Friends moseying up the trail. All photos by Sophie S.
It reminded me, once again, why I love trail running.

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