It was a really nice Sunday and I wanted to do something outside to take advantage of the sunshine. Originally Michael and I had discussed going for a bike ride but we changed our minds. Poor Michael hadn’t slept well the night before and wasn’t up for something strenuous and I had just gotten back from the pool so I wasn’t looking for a crazy second workout, either.
I did some research and discovered that there was a Nature Preserve near us so we decided to check it out after lunch. First stop: lunch at Baja Fresh. I hadn’t been there before. It was decent. I got the “skinny” fire-roasted chicken bowl.
It came with rice, black beans, zucchini, onions and lots of salsa. It was pretty good. I ate about 1/2 of the bowl and saved the rest for leftover lunch. After lunch we headed up the street to Mount Talbert Nature Preserve.
The Sunnyside entrance to the trailhead was a little strange. We drove through an apartment complex to get to it and almost missed it because it wasn’t clearly marked. I think there might be other trailheads on the other side of the park.
The trail was quiet and really cool. It reminded me a lot of the Marquam Trail that Michael and I did awhile back. I did not bring hiking boots because I thought it was going to be manicured trails like Mount Tabor. The trail was pretty muddy in some places. I would recommend hiking boots simply for the mud.
The trail was a steady uphill climb for most of it and there were several forks in the trail. There was a summit trail and then a loop that looked like it wasn’t as steep. We chose to do the summit loop.
The trail was pretty quiet. We didn’t see many people out there, just a few hikers here and there. I was surprised at how big the preserve was in the middle of the city, and we didn’t even see most of it.
It was a really warm day and even though the trail was short, it was pretty steep. I wish I’d been wearing my heart rate monitor because there were parts of the trail where I was a little breathless! The trail may have been short, but it was a workout. I took off my sweater because I warmed up so much.
We got to the top of the summit but unfortunately there wasn’t much there and there wasn’t much to see. I thought there would be a view. The summit trail continued down the other side but we decided to back track the way we came. I had no idea how big the preserve actually was and didn’t want to get lost!
Going down the trail made my quads burn a little bit (lunges!!) and I definitely wished I had some hiking boots on. My old running shoes did not have the right traction for a downhill, muddy trek.
We got to the bottom of the trail in no time. And we saw more people taking advantage of the sunny, warm day!
I commented to Michael that it would be a good trail running park. He didn’t think so because of the exposed tree roots on the path. Any trail runners want to weigh in on that? I might be up for trying it someday.
It was short but it got my heart pumping and it was a great way to spend a surprise sunny day.
QUESTION: Are you a trail runner? Any recommendations for a newbie?