Now that the dogs and I checked this sucker off the list, I don't really feel the need to ever.do.it.again. :) The irony of the Hagg Lake Trail Run is that it's the trail that led me to heat exhaustion this summer (my own fault of course for not packing water on a hot summer day and attempting this for a run when I hadn't made much distance mileage yet during my comeback....) and then on this second attempt the dogs and I got caught in a torrential downpour for 3-4 miles straight and at that point I didn't dare stop moving due to how fast my body temperature tends to drop. And when I mean downpour, I mean we literally had a river flowing down the trail with us as we jogged through it....and not a single square of dry body existed on the dogs nor I. (The weather forecast had stated there was a 25% of rain showers...) :)
BUT....we did it. We jogged around the lake covering 14.5 miles (although we did walk hills and a few other stretches--also various online sources show the trail to be anything from 13.5-15.6 miles...). The overall elevation change isn't much, but for some reason this trail legitimately kicks.our.butts. For that reason, I'm using this sucker to suffice for my goal of making a 15 mile run....14.5 ass.kicking.miles in the pouring rain is close enough to 15 for my liking.
I do also have to mention that it's not my favorite trail in the world because it doesn't have the greatest signage when coming across additional trail options and at least three stretches of the trail you actually run on the road that goes around the lake also. There are a couple races held here though if anyone is interested: 50 & 25k (and I saw a half and tri listed somewhere also I think)... and the trail is also regularly used for mountain biking. On this day, no mountain bikers (nor hikers/runners) were on trail though as we'd had recent storms and the trail was littered with downed branches. (Also why I decided it was okay to let the dogs off leash here since no one else was around...)
There are some really pretty views along the lake though, some neat spots to have a picnic, and people come out here in summer to boat & fish. It's actually a reservoir. (And also sadly a family drowned in the lake this summer...)
The gorgeous drive through country back roads to get there.
Roxi hanging out on one of the many little bridge crossings.
I love this picture of Anna galloping along the edge.
If you look close you can see the double rainbow. Mile 3ish.
View from Mile 5ish.
Miles 6-9/10: RAIN. I don't usually get mad at conditions on trail but at one moment, I literally looked to the heavens and yelled at God to cut us a freakin' break already. The rain didn't stop, but as we rounded the next corner there was a brilliant rainbow right in front of us that we followed for the next 2 miles...and for a good portion of the drive home. Great reminder that there's hope for a brighter "tomorrow" even when we're still caught in the downpour we don't want to be in.
(I also won't lie....so.many.times I wanted to just stop and hope for someone to pick us up along the way. I don't know if it's my determination, pride, or maybe stupidity...or a combination of the three that always keeps me pushing forward. By the time we made the meadow around mile 11 or 12, I knew we'd make it and I was just counting down the steps until we could fully be done.)
Final few miles back in the trees, across a small meadow, and carving around additional inlets. Loved the way the late afternoon sun was shining on the gorgeous fall leaves (because even when you want to quit, there's still beauty to be seen....) The picture doesn't do it justice to really show how neat of a tunnel it was creating through here.
And there you have it...we made it. Some of them you love, some of them you're just glad to get it done. :)