iRunFar Road Trip Itineraries Spring/Summer 2009

As noted in last week’s iRunFar Goes Fulltime post, I’ll be touring the mountain west from late-June until at least late-August. Well, truth be told, there will actually be three iRunFar road trips this summer, all with top notch trail running destinations en route. I plan share these runs – as well as the races, places, and people I encounter – with all of you. In addition to standard race reports and personal profiles, I plan on regularly publishing accounts of the trip itself. While the name, format, and content of these travel dispatches are still up in the air (suggestions welcome!), I thought I’d share the general itinerary for the road trips.

Below are the iRunFar Road Trip itineraries, which I will revise as my plans develop. I already know that I’ll see many of you over the coming months and hope that I’ll learn of many other iRunFar readers that I’ll get to see, as well. Please leave a comment or drop me a note if you think our paths will or could cross. It will be a long summer if I don’t have friends – old and new – with whom to share it. Stop back tomorrow afternoon to find out how you can have your own iRunFar road trips this summer!

iRunFar Road Trip 1
(a/k/a The Small Cross – 3694 miles driven)

Sean Meissner is entirely to blame for this first road trip. Over the course of the past month, I decided that I’d make my westward move in two trips: first I’d drive a rental truck cross country and later make a second leisurely trip in my soon-to-be home on wheels, Pri the Prius. A few weeks ago I Sean called asking when I’d be driving west and whether I’d be interested in running the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) just after Memorial Day. I’d yet to pin down my timing, so I told him that while I was interested, I couldn’t yet commit.

Last week I emailed Meissner to clarify which day he might be running R2R2R, as a two-stage return voyage to DC was only marginally more expensive than a single shot return. In addition to his Grand Canyon plans, Sean then pitched me running the Pocatello 50 mile next Saturday before driving with him to the Grand Canyon for the R2R2R. Being the sucker that I am, I bought into the following plan:

iRunFar Road Trip 1 Itinerary
  • 5/19 – Late in the day I will depart Arlington in my rented moving truck.
  • 5/19-22 – I’ll get in some quality time with Route 80, as I drive across it to Salt Lake City before heading north to the outskirts of Pocatello. [Folks, please give me suggestions for short trail runs just off Route 80. I’d like to log a run daily as I cross the county and the only I-80 trails I know are in Utah and Wyoming.]
  • 5/23 – Run the inaugural Pocatello 50 mile. [Entry is open through Wednesday, May 20!]
  • 5/24-25 – Road trip with Meissner to the Grand Canyon.
  • 5/26 – R2R2R.
  • 5/27 – Fly from Flagstaff, Arizona to SLC.
  • 5/28 – Drive rental truck from SLC to Yosemite.
  • 5/29-31 – Chill in Yosemite. Possibly run, volunteer, cover, or some combination of those three at the Shadow of the Giants 50k.
  • 6/1 – Fly back to DC. Phew!

View Larger Map

iRunFar Road Trip 2
(a/k/a Kentucky Camp – 3940 miles driven)

After a few days spent recuperating in DC, I’ll head home to New Jersey to see my family and run in Washington Crossing State Park that sits between my parents’ and sister’s houses. Heading north, I’ll visit my grandmother in Schenectady, NY before going on to Ontario where I hope to run with Derrick and Sara near Kingston. Not one to miss a chance to see some new ground, I’ll swing north through Canadian bush country from North Bay to Thunder Bay by way Route 11 before dropping back into the States at International Falls, Minnesota. There are two reasons for me taking this northern route: (1) to avoid yet another drive across I-80 to Chicago and (2) to hit the Badlands of North Dakota for a run. [Any suggestions for short trail runs in northern Minnesota or the North Dakota Badlands?]

After kicking up some dust in the Badlands, I’ll bolt southwest to something I’ve wanted to do for over a decade. In fact, it’s an ultra-length dream run that predates my ultrarunning career by enough time that I was actually a collegiate sprinter when the idea burrowed its way into my brain. This June I will finally get to run the length of the Ruby Crest Trail in northeastern Nevada’s Ruby Mountains. These were the first snow capped mountains I ever saw and in which I spent a total of roughly two weeks of camping during the summer of 1998. It looks like Solar Weasel will be joining me on my quest for dream fulfillment. After conquering the Ruby Mountains, I’ll spend a week relaxing in Yosemite … before the BIG iRunFar road trip begins.

iRunFar Road Trip 2 Itinerary
[The destinations on this itinerary are unlikely to change much;
however, the timing may shift a few days either way.]
  • 6/7-9 – Reconnect with my family and my trail running roots in central New Jersey.
  • 6/10 – Visit Grandma Jo.
  • 6/11 – Trail run in Ontario.
  • 6/11-13 – Drive from Ontario to the Badlands via northern Minnesota.
  • 6/14-16 – Drive from the Badlands to hte Ruby Mountains via Yellowstone NP and possibly the American Prairie Reserve.
  • 6/17 – Bag the Ruby Crest Trail.
  • 6/18 – Drive to Yosemite.

View Larger Map
[Doesn’t this road trip’s route eerily mirror the shape of the northern border of Kentucky?]

iRunFar Road Trip 3
(a/k/a The Pincer Maneuver – 5116 miles driven)

The Big Kahuna of road trips will begin June 27 in Squaw Valley, California. This summer of fun and adventure was by far the biggest factor in determining when exactly I put my legal career on hold. While many of the details of iRunFar Road Trip 3 are still up in the air, this is my best guess at the itinerary. Dates followed by an asterisk are firm cornerstone events. Dates followed by a question mark are tentative.

  • 6/27* – Pace Andy Jones-Wilkins at Western States
  • 6/29-7/9 – Camp Hardrock, Silverton Colorado
  • 7/10-12* – Pace Andy Jones-Wilkins and others at Hardrock 100.
  • 7/18? – 88k trail relay around Lake Annecy in France or Wasatch Speed Goat 50k
  • 7/20-24* – Outdoor Retail show in Salt Lake City
  • 7/27-31* – Trail running in Canadian Rockies
  • 8/1-3? – Cover Canadian Death Race
  • 8/9-21? – Acclimate in or around Leadville
  • 8/22* – Race Leadville 100
  • 8/23-25? – Cover TransRockies Run

View Larger Map

iRunFar Road Trip 3 may or may not end at this point. I recognize I may want off the road by this point, as I’ll have logged 12,750 miles over the three road trips if I head to Yosemite after Leadville. I’ll also have spent two full months living out of my car. Events after this date are therefore extremely tentative.

  • 9/5? – Cover Grand Teton 100
  • 9/11? – Cover Wasatch 100
  • 9/19? – Cover Angeles Crest 100
  • 9/26? – Race Noble Canyon 50k

While I’ve had most of the gear I’ll need for the summer for a while, I’m just about finished picking up the rest of my gear. I recently secured Brunton solar panels (Solaris 26) and a battery pack (Solo 15) to remotely charge my laptop, a Jetboil Flash PCS, a wood stove (for larger meals), and a nice sleeping bag liner. I’ll fully discuss my road trip set up in a future post. For now, I’m looking for advice. The only thing I still need to pick up is an ultralight 1-2 person (likely 2) tent. Any insight would be appreciated.

Final Note/Request
I hope to see many of you before I settle down this fall. Please let me know if you have suggestions for places to run, camp, stay, eat, or otherwise visit along any of the routes.

There are 24 comments

  1. Ultrarunning-Edge

    Looking forward to seeing you in Pocatello this weekend for all the craziness. 13680 feet in 50+ miles—that's more than half of Wasatch!Bruce

  2. Derrick

    Sounds like a great trip! Look forward to seeing you in Ontario and showing you some rugged Canadian Shield singletrack.

  3. Carson

    Goat,Obviously I am super-psyched for road trip #3 as it means you'll be pacing me on two occasions and enjoying the wonderful road trip from Auburn to Silverton. Should be a blast!AJW

  4. michael wardian

    Bryon,I am really happy for you have a great time.If you need anything done around here let me know.Cheers,Mike

  5. Grae Van Hooser

    Goat, are you planning anything after you leave Andy at Green Gate? How would you like to go for a late night run from Green Gate to the high school in town? You might have to stick around GG for some time, but you could practice setting up your new two man tent to kill some time :)

  6. Bradcolo

    How about returning to the Wyoming Double on 5/24 instead of the Pocatello race? You will drive right by it on I-80 anyway.There is a competitve crowd with Nick Clark, Brian Goding and Jamie Donaldson all from Colorado.It would be great to see 4 elites pound it out!!Cheers, Brad

  7. Bryon Powell

    Brad, I shot Meissner an email anbhour two ago suggesting that we do a Pocatello 50, RMDM, R2R2R triple. I'm thinking he might not be that foolish, but you need know. I love the Rocky Mountain Double Marathon and would love to run it again soon. Alas, this yea I would not be elite… I've done minimal training since I returned from MdS, as I've been too busy packing and prepping the house. Andy/Carson, I look forward to a double dose of pacing and some fun times in the mountains. Let's chat soon about where we stand on WS pacing duties, so I can respond to Grae's request. Grae, I'd love to pace you from Green Gate on in. I need to confirm with Andy that he's only riding the Powell train up to the GG station.

  8. Grae Van Hooser

    Cool, I hope Andy is feeling generous with his time. Besides, he could run that section in his sleep and I don't think he is lacking in the motivation department!

  9. Donald

    Holy crap … I feel worn out just reading this.I'll look for you at Western States – I'll be the guy arriving in Auburn about 6 hours behind you.

  10. Anonymous

    A-MAZ-ZING!Thunder Bay – Jeez, that's old school. Soon you'll be listening to the Tragically Hip and eating pemmican.If you're looking for some running in the Rockies, I could make the trip (we could bike/run the Icefields Parkway – insanely beautiful!Bill

  11. olga

    Holly cow…I missed the "full time" post and had to go back, because these trips freaked me out. Wow. I missed out on a whole bunch of things. So, please do say, what you're gonna get paid for? Coverage of races? Book? Promo? I mean, some minds need to know how to turn passion into pro…and have fun in a meantime! Oh, and I'll see ya at WS and HR!

  12. Bryon Powell

    Eric, I'll be sure to have fun and to share it with everyone!Bruce, I look forward to seeing you in Idaho.Same goes for you, Derrick, except in Canada. My girlfriend gave me an education as to what the Canadian Shield is. Wardian, the only thing that needs to be done around here is for us to meet up for a run before I head west!Donald, be sure to introduce yourself at WS. I'm looking forward to being back at the event after a couple years away.Bill,Depending on how my schedule shapes up, I might be able to do that the week after Banff. My only requirement during that time frame is that I spend lots of time being high.Olga,I'm not really gonna get paid for anything at this point… but I won't really spend anything either. I'll be living out of my car, eating lots of beans, and loving life! See you in California and Colorado. :-)

  13. T.

    Will be waiting in great anticipation for the full R2R2R report as I would like to work myself up for this one in the future. How cool to have a dream job!!! Way to go!

  14. AJW

    Goat,I'll call you in the next couple days. In the meantime plan on pacing me to GG. I have another guy for the last stretch so I think you can help our Grae. However, with Hardrock I think I'll need you quite a bit. Happen to have an ice axe?AJW

  15. Anonymous

    AMAZING! Wow…I am so excited to hear of your adventures all summer! Any thoughts of capturing any of it via video? That's a documentary I would love to watch. Good luck & we'll see you at WSER.

  16. Anonymous

    AMAZING! Wow…I am so excited to hear of your adventures all summer! Any thoughts of capturing any of it via video? That's a documentary I would love to watch. Good luck & we'll see you at WSER.Jeannie Sullivan

  17. Bryon Powell

    T., I'm looking to work myself up to R2R2R, too. My training has been sporadic at best for the past 6 weeks. I'll be happy to just finish without injuring myself.AJW, Lots of time on the Hardrock course… hmm…. AWESOME! Disregard the comment above. ;-) I'm got a great base from my MdS training and will be feeling great running-wise in a week or two. Thanks for the update re Western States.Jeannie, I have been thinking more about adding video to iRunFar and I think this summer's travels may be the perfect debut venue. I look forward to seeing you and Kevin in California in a few weeks. (AJW, disregard this bit, too… We don't want to see Kevin at all in California. Yeah. ;-) )

  18. Lloyd

    Bryon,Three miles off I-80 (Ohio turnpike) in the Cleveland, OH area are some decent trails in the Cuyahoga Valley NP and Cleveland Metroparks. (Exit 173)Here is a little Gmap link for directions from the turnpike to the town of Brecksville:<a&gt <a href="http://;” target=”_blank”>; This area is site of the Buckeye Trail 50k races and parts of the Burning River 100.I'd join you but I am recooperating from MMT with some time in the OBX and will miss you when you pass by.In Brecksville, there is a park entrance near the intersection of Rte 21 and Rte 82. There is a nice Heinens grocery store and restaurants here too.Have a great trip.Lloyd

  19. Bryon Powell

    Lloyd, Are there any campgrounds or, even better, any boondocking possibilities in the park? Do you think it wold be safe to sleep there. Cleveland would be a good target for tonight. I guess I can always sleep at a Wal-Mart.Paige, I can't wait to share the stories and images with you! :-)

  20. Derrick

    Goes without saying, but I should probably mention anyhow that you are welcome to camp inside or outside (the huskies won't mind) at our place. There's great interior camping at Frontenac Prov. Park too if you can't get enough of those trails….or are sick of us;)

  21. Bryon Powell

    Leslie,I've not eaten any sardines in a while. That said, they may find their way back into my car during the massive road trip.Derrick,Thanks for offer to stay with you … I'll likely take you up on that for a night as I pass through.

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