The nice weather we were hoping for on Friday never materialized. In the evening the sky turned leadened and a cold rain poured straight down. So much for a dry race on Saturday. Much to my delight, dawn arrived with broken clouds and a lovely sunrise. Maybe it wouldn't be such a wet day. I arrived at Taylor Mountain just as the five milers were getting ready to start, but I was able go get ahead of them on the trail. Everything was very wet from the night before and parts of the trail were extremely muddy. The runners were looking at an exciting but dirty day. I think that's what a lot of them live for.
The wild flowers were abundant and exquisite.
There were fox glove
everywhere in deep shades of purple, pink and white.
Hummingbirds and bees
kept me company darting in and out of the flowers as I hiked up the trail. There were many other signs of animals on the trail, especially deer and elk tracks. The bear scat kept me whistling and clapping as I approached each blind curve. I had to watch my step so I didn't stomp on the slugs and centipedes.
I had the trail to myself for about an hour till I met the first runner, #914 Van Phan.
She finished her 50k (31.07mi) in 5:55:32. The weather stayed beautiful until noon and I had met most of the runners on the trail at least once. The sky then began to darken and the rain gathered strength. Soon the trail ran like a small river and nearly everyone and everything was drenched. The only thing that wasn't soaked was the spirit of the contestants. Almost everybody that I met on the trail had a smile, a cheerful word or a thumbs up for the camera. The trails that Evergreen Trail Runs select for their events are so interesting and beautiful that it takes more than a bit of rain to dampen the runners spirit.