A long weekend escape to Tennessee. Nothing but long riverside runs, sunset hiking on Lookout Mountain, and aimless city wandering. Oh, and milkshakes for the win.
Do you have one of those friends that you can call up anytime and say, “i think we need an adventure”? And then, next thing you know, you and your friend are running across a mesa in the middle of Arizona in February?
If you don’t have one of those friends, I recommend finding one.
My friend is named Danielle.
So Danielle and I decided that we needed a trip out west to escape our mid-winter New England blues. And we decided that we needed to run the Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon Half Marathon because why not.
This half-marathon trail race follows a single track around the plateau of Page, Arizona and sprinkles in a few miles of desert sand and slickrock along the way. The unbelievable scenery, which includes Lake Powell, makes it tricky to keep your eyes on the trail and off the horizon. While we didn’t pause for nearly enough photos or selfies, Danielle and I did manage to capture our middle-of-the-pack finish in the slickrock ampitheatre.
And then we promptly ate tacos.
But the race itself was just one of our vacation adventures. We were lucky enough to check out some traditional Navajo dancing, as well as a fireside chat on the local geology and history of the land and the tribes. (PSA: Hats off to Ultra Adventures for their support of the local community, as well as their dedication to the environment. The race is zero waste, the aid stations run on solar, and the composting toilets create a nutrient rich soil. And if you litter on the course? You’re disqualified. Boom.)
Danielle and I also made time to visit some of the iconic sights – namely Upper Antelope Canyon (one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world), the Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River, and Zion National Park.
And if all of this awesomeness wasn’t enough to convince you to find your own friend like Danielle, we also spent plenty of time singing along to overplayed pop songs; eating peanut butter out of a jar in lieu of actual meals; and assuring each other that its definitely OK to wear the same clothes multiple days in a row.
So as Wilfred Peterson says, “A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.”
Find your own Danielle and go adventuring.