The Mesa Falls Half Marathon in Ashton, Idaho starts in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest right on the Warm River and runs down into the fields of Idaho’s farmland. You get to enjoy several different types of scenery on this diverse, mostly downhill run. And, guess what! I took first place in my category which is OLD MEN running slow.
The Three n’ Three Challenge
My wife is awesome. She is so supportive of my life goal to run a half in all 50 states and this trip is a prime example of that support. This “challenge” is an 11 day trip, with 2,940 miles of driving, covering seven states and will allow us to visit three national parks and also for me to run three half marathons in three new states. The three new states are Wyoming, Montana and Idaho in that order and you can find the write-ups on all three listed below.
- Race #1: Wyoming – Run With The Horses Half Marathon – A Wisp of Doubt
- Race #2: Montana -Big Sky Half Marathon – Da’ Bears Spray
- Race #3: Idaho -Mesa Falls Half Marathon – First Place? (This One!)
Yellowstone National Park & Old Faithful
Visiting Yellowstone and Old Faithful on a hot day in the middle of a pandemic. I had very vivid memories of my first visit to Yellowstone and Old Faithful and interestingly. The first visit was with my family when I was eight or nine. This trip some decades later included my son and daughter, my son being eight years old. Kinda’ cool.
I totally forgot how MASSIVE Yellowstone park is. We drove from the south end of the park up towards Old Faithful and it must have taken us an hour. Good thing we had a full tank of gas! Old Faithful was insanely crowded. Hundreds and hundreds of people gathered around to watch the “big event”. Of course we got there far too early and we ended up sitting for thirty minutes with two restless kids. Then, it happened, the big moment, the grand finale, the money shot. Yup, Old Faithful erupted and then we left.
We did hit a few of the mud pots on the way out. Honestly, after Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone is cool but the beauty of Grand Teton is simply immeasurable.
Tiny Homes (Single Wides) Aren’t So Bad!
Apparently there is the code word for “trailer” is “tiny home”. And, to be totally honest, it wasn’t that bad! But, our tiny home was basically a single wide trailer home masquerading as a tiny home. Fortunately for me, my wife and kids are troopers and the host for the property was a good person. They even dropped off orange juice and donuts for us, which I promptly devoured.
There are downsides to tiny homes, I mean single wide trailers ….. they all look the same. After Amy and the kids dropped me off at the race, they returned home to chill for a bit. The problem was they returned to the WRONG home. They barged into the neighboring “tiny home”. My son was the first to notice that the throw pillows on the couch looked different. So after Amy stopped freaking out that we were robbed, she quickly exited that tiny home and moved over 20 feet to OUR tiny home (oh, I mean trailer). Fortunately, the guests had already moved out.
The Race & FIRST PLACE!
Absolutely a gorgeous run, especially the first half. This race was a point to point and was almost all downhill. The dropoff point for the half marathon was just off a windy road that headed UP straight into the mountains and pretty closely followed the Warm River.
It was a super mellow crowd, everyone was very friendly. As soon as the gun fired we headed down the mountain and back into the town of Ashton. The first third of the race was all single track trail, in the mountains along a river. That is without doubt MY JAM. Stinkin’ beautiful.
As we headed down the mountain, the trail gave way to road. And, the lower the elevation, the more the mountains became fields that were golden and gorgeous. Its crazy how much the scenery changed from the first, to the second to the final third of this race.
The final stretch of this race was not the most beautiful part but it was the final part. Which made it beautiful. This was the final stretch of a long mountain trip. All the while battling an abnormal heart rhythm. Pretty cool that I was able to pull this off.
About a month after we returned from this trip I get a package from the race. Inside the package? Yup, the 45-49 men’s first place finish plaque! Well, that’s a first and I had NO idea that I had won. I may have been the only man in the race in this age bracket. 🙂 Anyhow, killer run, killer race, fun “tiny home” and what a great way to end a fantastic trip. Next stop, Park City Utah!