by Joe Prusaitis
13 July 2007
It has been raining off and on all day in Silverton. It is a very good omen. I love rain runs. I lay down to sleep with a smile on my face and listen to the rhythm of it. I leave town focused and blind to every one around me. I feel strong and confident. The route from town to the first climb passes uneventful and silent. The climb is long but goes well, not fast, but steady. Nothing notable occurs while going up the long jeep road, the single-track trail over the top, and then the typical high-speed descent into Cunningham. I am ahead of schedule, but only a little. The next climb, no more than a narrow sheep trail, climbs quickly and then tilts even steeper up over rock into a high meadow. This meadow is not the top, but a short respite, and then up again to the top of Green Mountain. Stoney Pass
comes soon after and then up to the high traverse leading to the ridge above Little Giant Mine. I speed down off the right side quickly into Maggie. A quick pit stop and then up again. This being one of the shortest climbs, I’m quickly into Pole Creek and running well across this beautiful high valley. Its long but goes uneventfully. Before long, Pole Creek aid station is behind me and I take care to catch the route that goes off trail to climb up to the high lake. Past it, the trail tilts down again, comfortably at first, and then rapidly. The foliage here is so thick you can’t see much, but it always seems to be a fun and fast run down into Sherman. So far, I have been staying ahead of my plans, and the trend continues. I pick up my large camelback with flashlight and head back out. The long jeep road up to Burrows Park leads to the start of the trail to Handies.