Sunday, October 4, 2015

Danny's Top Five Hikes/Trail Runs of 2015

"The contents of this [blog] are personal and do not reflect any position of the US government or the Peace Corps."

Today was a good day. Kenny ran a half marathon in preparation for her marathon in three weeks. I had told her to take it out steady and really focus on just running her 5-10 seconds faster than marathon goal pace. She finished averaging 8:01s which is exactly 10 seconds faster than Boston qualifying and 5 seconds faster than what I think she will do for the marathon. All told a very good and evenly paced run for her. She has one more high volume week than is starting her taper. 

Meanwhile in Guyana, I awoke early and got in my longest run to date in here(60 minutes), went to the hospital for a 2 1/2 hour church service for the residents, spent some time practicing Portuguese with Duolingo and reading, and then went for bike ride and trail run. The bike ride was better than yesterday because of the copious amounts of duct tape that now envelops my bike. It may not look pretty but it held up. On my ride yesterday, I spotted some cool trails so I rode to one, locked up my bike and went for a short but relaxing run. In addition to being in nice trails and shaded and away from cars, riding home allowed me to cool off somewhat so I didn't need to stand in my shower for 30 minutes until I stopped sweating profusely.  

So was this trail run one of the best of 2015? Not even close but it got me thinking about all the awesome trails that I've been on this year and I decided to compile a list of the top five. I truly have been blessed with the spectacular and diverse So without further ado, here's my 2015 list:

#1 Fimmvoroudhals Trail-Iceland
Hands down the best trail that I went on this year. Not only did it have 22 amazing waterfalls, but it's terrain was so varied there was no way you could get bored. And if you were really ambitious, you could make it an overnight and camp on the far end(20+ miles later).   

#2 The Otter Trail- South Africa
Another trail that you could turn into a overnight. The Otter Trail actually is designed as a hut-hut 5 day excursion. As we didn't have that kind of time while we were there. We did just the first day. The hike to the waterfall. The whole first day parallels that ocean, except if you take a wrong turn, as we did and get up climbing 1000 feet of elevation while being stalked by a troop of baboons. Beautiful and very enjoyable.
The waterfall

#3 Dipsea Trail-North of San Francisco
There is a reason why this trail is host to the oldest trail race in the United States. Lined with Redwoods, it is spectacular and awe-inspiring. Plus if you time it right you still have plenty of time to either head to San Fran for a micro-brew or head over to Sonoma for some wine tasting. 
Can you spot Kenny running? 

#4 Mourne Wall Challenge-Newcastle Northern Ireland
Now this is 4th on my list because I did this one solo. I bet if I had the good company I had with the other trails on this list it may have gotten a higher ranking. Despite that and the energy sapping muck, this 22 mile trail tracing a 100 year old wall traversing several of Northern Ireland tallest peaks. It's beautiful and the challenge is to complete it in a day. The drive to/from Dublin and the hike can be done in a day if you are moving. 

#5 Mount Washington-Jefferson, New Hampshire
How could a list be complete without some mention of the many New England hikes that rival anywhere in the world. I was tempted to put in the Precipice Trail in Acadia but realized that I didn't have any pictures from that hike. As I always talk about how much I love the Little Haystack-Lafayette Loop, I decided I'd be Washington some respect and give it props. We went up Jefferson which I would recommend everyone do. It's a short hike to the summit and then you have nice views the whole time over to Washington. Warning: That also means that it's exposed the whole way so be vigilant about the weather. 

Guyana has some major potential for epic hikes closer to the border of Venezuela and Brazil. Once I get my Brazilian visa I plan to make my way over there. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Another Awesome Blog Dan Thank you ! Be Safe We love you !