Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Bench Trail Run
I've done more than my share of whining about all the snow we have received this year, that aside, this is probably a more typical winter and spring for this neck of the woods. Unable to finance a spring break trip to more hospitable and "dirty" area, Eric and I got together to scope out some not so local trails to explore. We discussed driving as far as Idaho Falls to find some dirt to run on. Our recent trips back East only whetted our appetites for some single track. We finally decided to try out the Bench Trail outside Swan Valley, Idaho. Eric noted that this trail along the Snake River was always the first to open up due to its relatively low altitude and southern exposure. I picked Eric up about 9 a.m., Kim, Eric's wife had already put in a couple of hours of running (she is training for the Bighorn 50 and the Leadville 100-her first-Go Kim!) It was another 40 minutes to the trailhead. As we approached it we were beginning to get nervous. The snowbanks were still way taller than my truck-and we became really nervous when suddenly the road ended- 1.5 to 2 miles from the trailhead. The warm days and cold nights made for some nice crusty snow so we geared up and headed for the river. We were able to make good time and were rewarded with a nice downhill snowmachine trails before we hit dirt. The trail alternated between snow, slush, mud, and a bit of dirt and rocks for the next 4 hours. The sun was strong and the views magnificent. We made plans to get back to the Bench trail within a few weeks when hopefully it is all bare and ready to to quench our long dirtless winter thirst.