Since our daughter and her family live in Snohomish we have been thinking that it would be a great trip to start from our home in Everson and ride to the northernmost section of the trail, continue on the trail to our daughters home which is not far from the trail start. We haven't sat down yet to determine just how many miles this would be, but some day we may be up for the challenge. We've decided that we would like to do it in sections first so we would be familiar with it in it's entirety. So yesterday we started in Bryant. There is a parking lot and sani - can at this point of the trail. The trail to the north is paved for 1 1/2 miles farther to the finished bridge, but no farther. As we were driving down we noticed what seemed to be a future parking lot for the trail near a large red barn and it looked like it had access to a trail in construction. After talking to others it seems that section may be done by this October. There is a website that gives updated trail information called "Trail link" here's a link to their website page about the trail - http://www.traillink.com/trail/centennial-trail-(wa).aspx .
The page was last updated (at the time of my writing this post) on February of this year, so it's not real up to date - but it did have some helpful information for us.
Here is a map of the trail, I inserted our route onto it. The black lines show our out route and the red lines show our return route.
The section that we did was a beautiful trail except for the area just south of Arlington. It is marked really well for the most part, with posts/painted lines/signs at each intersection with a road. The only section that could be confusing to people was just south of Arlington. The trail goes through the main part of down town really well, and there is a nice park there called Legion park . We stopped there for lunch. They have almost completed a visitor center/restroom building at the park, so that will be nice for people needing to use facilities at the point. The sign says it will be open this month (April 2012). After we left this part of town the trail seems to end abruptly. At this point there were no signs at all through a rather high traffic area of industrial and residential streets. We thought it would be logical to just follow the road and not make any turns and hope we would eventually find our trail markings again. We came upon a large cycling group from Seattle that were stopped by the side of the road just as we entered this directionless area. They had maps in hand and were very confused as to where to continue. After riding several miles we finally spied some metal posts in the sidewalk on the other side of the road. No signs or paint or anything telling us this was the Centennial trail. We followed these skinny posts that were now on most every corner until - hurray just after the 172nd avenue intersection we joined up with our familiar trail signs that we had enjoyed at our start at Bryant. We rode on to the ArMar (short for Arlington - Marysville) parking lot and sani - can area. The new part of the trail in this area is called the ArMar gap and it is really beautiful. When we turned around to begin our trip back we saw the confused Seattle cycling group coming towards us. We called out congratulations to them that they had found the trail as we had and we all beamed at each other. I really like the section just north of Arlington.
It took us 2 hours and 40 minutes of "on" the bike time to do this northern section (with our out and back routing) - 19.6 miles. We rode at a leisurely speed and enjoyed it. It's kind of fun previewing a future idea piece by piece. Since it was Easter and a nice sunny day there was a lot of people out enjoying the trail.
I joined Bellingham fit (http://www.bellinghamfit.com/) to help me train in a safe and sane way for my Humboldt Redwoods Marathon in October. Now that I'm beginning to run again since my calf injury has healed, I thought that this would be a good option for me. I've now gone to two of the Saturday group runs and did my first week of the 6 month training schedule I was given for my pace.
Last week we ran once around Lake Padden 2.6 miles
at a pace that is comfortable to us, to determine which pace group to train with. I'm in the walk/run group which is fine with me. My goal is to run as much as possible. I'll probably stay with this group for my whole training time, since the next group up starts at 10 minute miles and I've not gone that pace for a long time.
Now that the weather is trying to be a bit better we got our kayaks out of the top of the garage and took them to a small local lake - Fazon lake (http://www.fishwhatcom.com/lakesrivers/Fazon.html) a couple times this last week. It was so nice to be on the water again. I love my kayak, it's a Perception sport 10' 6", just the right size for me.
Our son Jason and a friend of his decided to run the Tonto trail in the Grand Canyon. It's about 90 miles long. Starting at the South Bass trail and exiting at the New Hance trail head. It seems that it is tricky to do because getting into the start South Bass trail by road can be really bad depending on the weather. Then it isn't too practical to do it too late in the spring since the temperatures in the canyon get very warm quickly. Then there are sections that are very remote and make it difficult to get any aid from others. They came out early at about 60 miles at the Bright Angel trail. It became very warm in the canyon and they became aware that it wouldn't be a safe idea to continue. Here's a brief note he put in his blog about it -
I was needless to say very relieved to hear the news that Jason and his friend had stopped at Indian gardens & had come out although earlier than planned, and especially thankful that they had listened to their bodies and had made the great decision to come out when things weren't going as planned.