Runtrails' Rocky Mountain Journal
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"I'm just wondering and hoping, do you have a 2007 summer plan? I've enjoyed your adventures and keep checking in to see if the next one has started. I hope you're both feeling good and itch'n to get on the road. I'll keep checking back."    - e-mail from Jenny, Ontario, Canada, May 2007


Oh, the pressure!!  <grin>

We’re baaack . . . finally. Getting this year’s journal on-line has been a major project, even though I started writing entries back in January. My excuses are just too much else going on in our lives at home in Virginia, a lot of procrastination, and some major (but mostly unseen) changes regarding our web site.

But now I’m ready to write again!

I love writing and photography almost as much as I love running and travel. Two years ago Jim helped me accomplish a life-long dream: running and hiking the Appalachian Trail. I began keeping an on-line journal on this web site, which Jim had already developed, so friends and relatives could keep up with our progress on the journey run. That was so much fun that I wrote another journal last year documenting our running adventures (and misadventures) out West during the summer.

We’re heading back to Wyoming and Colorado tomorrow for another summer of camping and running in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. You can expect to see lots more photos of gorgeous mountain scenery and ultra races in Wyoming and Colorado. Come tag along as we venture out onto new trails and meet new people

We'll also revisit some of our favorite places from last year near Silverton, Leadville, and the Bighorn Mountains. For example, I can't wait to show Jim this view from Segment 24 of the Colorado Trail:

View from the Continental Divide into Elk Creek Valley.   7-11-06

In many ways this journal will be similar to last year’s, but hopefully there will be less drama to report. It will be nice if there are no rattlesnake bites, blown camper tires, treacherous mountaintop storms, or 100-mile DNFs this time. On the other hand, I hope our summer is interesting enough to satisfy our own thirst for adventure and to keep readers coming back for more. We’re still getting hits on the web site from folks all over the USA and around the world – the pressure remains to inform, inspire, and entertain!

Upcoming entries will document our training and races since last year’s journal ended, our new plans, gear and nutrition reviews, health concerns, and other things that pop into my head  Some of those entries will be uploaded out of order but with the dates they really occurred. I apologize in advance for any confusion that causes.


I'll have an entry soon regarding the gear and energy products we'll be using this year. For now, I'll briefly mention the three companies who've been generous enough to "sponsor" us at various levels.

We are grateful for another year of product discounts from Hammer Nutrition, whose energy drinks, gels, and electrolyte capsules we’ve used for many years. If you use our customer number you can get a 15% discount on your first order from them, and we get a discount on OUR next order = win-win.

A new sponsor this year is Sam Medical Supplies. We’ve used some of their Blist-O-Ban bandages since the 2005 AT run to prevent blisters on our feet. Fortunately, we don’t have major problems with blisters. These unique bandages come in handy when needed, though. In February we got a letter from a company sales rep who had found references to the bandages on our web site, and I was brazen enough to ask for some free ones in exchange for putting their logo on our site. Thanks, Sam Medical, for some free bandages.

I’m not sure if we still have Montrail shoe sponsorship since Krissy Moehl left the company last July after it was taken over by Columbia. We stockpiled enough discounted shoes then to last us this year and we haven’t approached the new running rep yet about a continued discount. Regardless, we’ll continue to wear and promote their shoes on our web site because they’ve worked so well for us the last ten years or more.

Jim and Cody enjoy the Bighorn Mtns. near the Porcupine Ranger Station. 6-8-06


This is our third ultra and adventure running journal on this web site. You can link to the other two at left. In addition, Jim has lots of other running links on the home page.

I come up with most of the journaling and photos and Jim makes it all look good on the screen! He’s entirely self-taught, and we’ve been grateful for the assistance of our friend, Eric, who recently introduced us to the concept of “frames” to help enhance navigation around the site and reduce our maintenance chores. Thanks, Eric! (More about how our adventures inspired Eric to became an ultra runner in the Capon Valley 50K entry - we're a bad influence, I'm afraid!)

Each journal has its own topics page, which is the easiest place to find any entry you want. The 2005 AT journal is so long that you can spend weeks on it – and I haven’t even finished all the photo  essays yet. There aren’t very many photos in the daily entries because I wrote them each evening after being on the Trail all day. Let’s just say it was intense.

I took over 3,000 photos during the AT trek. I’ve begun a “virtual tour” of the Trail at the “More Photos” link but A/O May, 2007 there are only Georgia, N. Carolina, Tennessee, and half of the Virginia photos uploaded. (Don’t worry; I won’t include all 3,000+ photos.) Stay tuned. One of my goals this summer is to finish that project.

The 2006 Rocky Mountain journal has fewer entries than the AT journal but more photos are included in each of them. This year’s journal will be similar in that regard. Perhaps I’ll also do a “virtual tour” of the entire Colorado Trail on the Picasa site after I’ve finished it this year, and tempt more folks to hike and run it. I took a lot more photos than I included on this site (aren't digital cameras great??).

We hope you enjoy this year’s journal. We’d love to hear from you. There is a link to contact us on the left. We’ll have our laptop computer with us all summer but may not have internet access every day because we’ll be camping in mostly remote locations. We’ll answer e-mails and upload entries every few days as we have time and access.

Heading West tomorrow,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and Tater


© 2007 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil