I love running barefoot. I feel very in tune and connected with myself and the environment around me. It just feels right.
But sometimes I wish I had a decent pair of shoes with me!
Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas Nevada is definitely NOT a barefoot friendly place. The trails were a mixture of large rocks, smaller pebbles, scree, dirt, cacti, and a host of other small, SHARP, nuisances that keep a barefoot runner from moving with any efficiency or smile on his face.
So I stuck to the road as much as possible instead. But guess what? The road was some of the sharpest, roughest chip seal I've ever ran on. I guess due to the lack of anything other than sun and wind, these roads never get worn down much. The rocks were like running on shards of glass for the most part.
But, despite all of these trivial issues, it was a BEAUTIFUL place, and, had I been in some Vibrams or Merrells or even my huaraches, it could have been one of my best runs in a long long time.
The road was a 13 mile scenic tour of the canyon (or valley?) that was like no other road I've ever ran on. It was like climbing a mountain that was paved. Tons of curves and sharp turns and switchbacks and hairpins. It was a really fun road that had tons of very sharp and sudden elevation changes. Very little flat sections. You were almost always running on some sort of incline or decline, and more often than not it was an overly exaggerated angle! I've never ran anywhere like this before, so it was very new and foreign to me. But I loved it!!!
To add to the difficulty of the hills, the wind was killer! The gusts were around 35~40 miles per hour, with the constant wind staying around 15~20. It was pretty brutal, especially when running uphill into a head wind.
But God it was AWESOME!!!
I took a bunch of pictures while running. I was with my Aunt Bonnie and her friend Susan. We ran a total of 4 miles in something like 1 hour.... Veeeeeery slow due to a lot of walking thanks to the rougher sections of trails. But even the walking was tough due to the steep grade we were climbing and the fact that we were at roughly 5,000 above sea level!
Thanks to the wonderful IPhone Blogger app that I have, I have to just throw the pictures at the bottom of the post in no particular order. So enjoy!