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Natural Bridges National Monument

Owachoma Bridge

When travelling the US and Canada for a year in a campervan in 1985/86, I had the opportunity to run in some places of awe-inspiring beauty.  Even though some of the runs were quite short, I still remember them well and an 8.5 mile run in Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah is a good example.

We were there in mid-January, the depths of winter at an altitude of 6500ft, and had the entire campground and National Park to ourselves.  It was cold and crisp, and I can remember standing outside our van after dark looking up at a brilliantly starlit night sky in absolute silence and stillness watching for satellites and the more frequent flashing lights of airliners passing noiselessly far overhead.

Kachina Bridge

There was a scenic loop drive through the park that we travelled earlier with overlooks to the three spectacular natural rock bridges for which the park was named.  The road was well-surfaced, undulating and roughly followed the edges of a plateau with occasional views into the bordering canyons.  The vegetation was mostly pinyon-juniper forest with plenty of snow on the ground.  I can just remember cruising around the same loop the next morning soaking up the scenery and solitude, and feeling privileged to have it all to myself.

For yesterday's training, I just walked 5km, and for today ran an easy 6.5km with my daughter who is visiting the area.  I did feel a little looser and fresher today, so maybe my taper is working.

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