"Long Run" To Parker Pass

On August 28, 2009, in Running, by Meghan

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.” (John Muir)

Happy legs!

These are freaking happy legs attached to an elated mind. Spending time running uninjured through John Muir’s stomping grounds here at Yosemite National Park just made me feel like a powerful girl!

I’m not sure when I’ll start talking about my “long runs” without the parenthetical qualifier, but oh well and I don’t really care. I had a fantastic “long run” last weekend to an old silver mining area on the east side of Yosemite’s high country called Parker Pass. It was about 10.5 miles round trip, with 1,800 feet of elevation gain, and a high point of 11,100 feet. This run tired my out-of-shape-for-running self! Mostly, it left me sucking some serious wind!

I'm going to live here when I grow up.

My future home! Well, maybe not quite. But, what a place to live 150 years ago, though, at about 10,000 feet altitude, nestled in a high country coniferous forest, with a burbling creek through a meadow just 100 yards off. Can’t beat that!

Parker Pass's final approach, though the alpine tundra and into an approaching rainstorm

Quick portrait on the pass

There were some young men on the pass who obliged in taking my picture. They were backpackers, debating the merit of continuing onto the 12,000 foot pass ahead of them to their planned campsite. The weather was cloudy, spitting rain, cold-ish, windy, and promising to become worse before it got better. I headed downhill before they made their decision.

Notice that there’s no granite to be found anywhere in the picture. There’s a complex of meta-sedimentary rocks out there sitting on top of a bunch of granite, the source of the silver that those 1800’s miners sought.

The trail marker at Parker Pass invites you into the wilderness.

My little run to Parker Pass was really just a tip-toe jaunt to the edge of the ridiculous wilderness that is the Sierra Nevada. This mountain range is truly worth a lifetime of exploration, and, wow, am I lucky that this is my home!

Tioga Lake on a chilly August afternoon

The weather was cold and windy back down at the almost 10,000 foot elevation Tioga Lake, but I forced myself to soak my feet after my run as part of my continued foot recovery. Burrrrr, I get cold again thinking of these moments!

7 Responses to “"Long Run" To Parker Pass”

  1. Danni says:

    I bet the cold felt sort of nice after all the hot you've had to endure.

  2. JeffO says:

    Cold be bery, bery goot for the plantar!
    Glad you're running long again.

  3. AUdrey says:

    That's a much prettier place to soak your feet than in a bowl of ice water under my computer table 🙂 Welcome back to running!

  4. Beth says:

    It's so, so great to hear that you are healthy and running again! As always your pictures are breathtaking!!

  5. GRETCHEN says:

    Hey, I think 10.5 qualifies as a long run. Anything in the double digits, you know.
    Yeah, the Sierra is superb! This year I think I have had more appreciation for the amazing running out my back door than ever before. Mr. Muir was certainly on to something.

  6. Paige says:

    Wow, looks like a gorgeous run out there! Congrats on the long run!

  7. Meghan says:

    Danni- No doubt lady, the Sierra Nevada foothills heat is a little crazy!

    JeffO- Heal thy foot!

    Audrey- Oh, you and I have the same funny habit!

    Beth- I actually thought about you and your nasty PF history during this injury. I figured if you could recover, so could I!

    Gretchen- Yes, we have a wonderful home!

    Paige- Hi and thanks!

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