165 miles north, my home town of Pocatello, Idaho is a hidden gem in the gem state. Known to the locals as “Poky”, this small to mid-size town tucked into the foothills has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Skirting the city on 3 sides East/West/South are trail systems that are great for mountain biking, hiking and running. The south end of town has basalt crags which host a climbing festival called the Pocatello Pump. In the winter, East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center is a popular place to cross-country ski, skate ski, snow shoe, and sled. This year, however, your snow sports gear may be best left in the garage as there is no snow. Last week I spent a couple of days in Pocatello with my daughter and family that still live there. The unseasonably warm weather found me out for a morning trail run on a trail that I used to mountain bike when I was in high school. City Creek Trail on the West bench very tightly follows the half-frozen City Creek up the canyon for about 3 1/2 miles. In the first mile you cross about 6 bridges, with 17 total by the end of the trail. Twisting and turning, winding through the trees and over the creek, the trail is a gradual and steady climb. After reaching my distance and heading back, I remembered why I liked mountain biking this trail so much and I found as much enjoyment with running – it was the downhill. Flying down the trail, zig-zagging around tight corners anchored by trees, a rush of excitement propelled me further and faster. My first stumble and fall on a trail-run took place on the way up and never having been the type of guy who takes things too serious…it was just a photo opportunity. If you look close, you can see the little tree root in the middle of the trail that so quickly grabbed my shoe.
Traveling to Poky is a monthly activity for me. Re-discovering the trails there is now on my list of things to do while my daughter is at school during the day. Specifically, Kinport Peak is on my radar for the next run. As much as we need the snow all across the western states right now, if the trails stay dry I won’t cry, but run them to the top.