Friday, July 30, 2010

The Judah Loop

This morning Cap and I took a break from the stress of pre-trip tasks to get out for a jaunt on a classic Truckee run: the Judah Loop. It was definitely an escape from responsibilities (which seems to be a theme lately) but everyone is better off if I can maintain my sanity. This morning, I managed to do much more than just that.

The trail begins at the PCT trailhead on Donner Summit, just off old highway 40. I used to teach at a school that literally sits right at this trailhead. In those days,I ran this 5ish-mile loop at least twice a week from August through November, before the snow sets in to make it some of the best skiing in Tahoe. It's the section of PCT I know best, and because I've spent so much time there, it's also the one I love the most.

It's actually a lollipop, not a loop, and the part that you run twice is the most rocky, technical section. If you happen to have a pair of Innov-8 X-Talons, I recommend them as the perfect shoe for this trail. They made short work of the talus and boulders, and I ran both uphill and down with shocking confidence.

Full of incredible views, lots of elevation gain (and loss) and sections of both technical and smooth trail, the Judah Loop never disappoints.

This morning was my first time there this season, and it was like an incredible gift. I felt so alive, so fast. I was agile and sure-footed. I felt like I was flying. Even Cap had a hard time keeping up with me. I could almost hear him, confusion in his doggie voice, What's going on here? Slow down!

But I have little sympathy for my four-legged training partner, and I knew he was as familiar with the area as I. Cap spends all winter patrolling these slopes as an avalanche search and rescue dog. There was no harm in taking off and letting him come find me today.

I stopped for just enough moments to snap a few photos, but stopping wasn't really on the game plan today. It was a short run, true, but my legs moved with a cadence that I have missed, and my breathing wasn't even that hard. We crested the summit of Mt. Judah and much too soon it seemed, found ourselves back at the car.

I smiled at the pure fun of it all, and the sure knowledge that I am well recovered from TRT and ready for the next adventure.


  1. I have not done this run, though I've heard other folks rave about it. Now that I've seen tour awesome pics, I'll have to get out there and give it a try!