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It’s not about the money. Not out here on these desert trails. Las Vegas is a whore, but just out of sight from her lying eyes is a breathtaking landscape that will make your running shoes smile and spare your life savings from the money-grubber.

IMG_2303 For a few days, starting January 1st, these rocks on fire became my sanctuary. A road trip from the frozen tundra took us 5 hours south to Valley of Fire State Park, about an hour north of sin city. Camping in the sand with red rocks rising all around us. And trails. Little veins crossing the desert, past petroglyphs and jack rabbits, rock towers and snowbirds. We only accomplished one run through this valley, but it was fascinating. As the darkness came on, the moon rose over a huge red dome of rock ahead of us on the trail. My legs felt strong, but stopped me for a moment as if to say, “you don’t want to miss this. Why else are you here?” After returning to camp and to some of the best chili and cornbread I have ever had, we were in for a night of frozen dreams in the sand. The following day, our road trip took us further south to the land of the aforementioned money-grubber. While a hotel bed was a welcome site, there were trails to be run. West of the city lights, Red Rock Canyon offered further miles of red glowing solitude in which to plant our running shoes. Traversing the front side of Calico Rocks on a mostly defined trail, we found our way to the Sandstone Quarry and the trail head for Calico Tanks. The Tanks trail proved to be less of a trail and more of a scramble, but the reward at the top was breathtaking.

Sadly, this would be the final run in Red Rock for the trip. Some much needed relaxation at the hotel and deep discussion lead to a thoughtful remainder. A lingering thought was left hanging in my mind. Trust funds. It’s not about the money. In short, what am I doing in my life to ensure I am worthy of trust? Am I building a fund from which trust can be drawn when the need arises from a beneficiary? Am I trustworthy? Some days I feel like the funds could be more, other days I feel rich. Ultimately, if I can maintain a positive balance, a large sum even, my life would be enhanced by knowing that I can be trusted by those that need it. The origin of this quote I am unsure of, but the meaning I learned a long time ago, “It is better to be trusted than to be loved”. Trust, like Rome, can’t be built in a day, but it is well worth the time and effort. Trail runs and trust funds. “You don’t want to miss this. Why else are you here”.

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