As a family we backpacked into Afton State Park for an overnight trip. We are hoping to do some more backpacking and Afton is a great place to practice! We had loaded up everything we needed into our packs and hiked the mile-ish into our campsite. We actually stayed at a canoe site which was a little more secluded than the 27 site backpack campground! We were hiking back out to check out a mobile art gallery and the nature center’s astronomy talk and some people with suitcases, wagons, huge coolers, etc. Some people have different ideas of backpacking I guess!
But since I’ve never run at Afton, I was excited for the chance to do so! I left right from our sight and knew that pretty much whatever I did was going to be hilly. The topo map at the visitor’s center seemed to show the trail next to our site was in a gully for awhile before climbing out, but pretty much it was a slight uphill before a big uphill! It felt like everything was uphill! There were some downhills and those felt great! Even if some of them were with steps. The park had maps at every major intersection so there was no chance of me getting lost. I had started running around 6:30am and didn’t see any people for quite awhile but towards the end of the run there were a lot of trail runners out and about. While running around the Deer Trout loop I saw 2 runners coming and 1 was wearing a Team World Vision jersey. As I was deciding whether to say anything more than hello, they both greeted me by name and it was Brent and Brad. Fancy running into them out there. We stopped for a minute to chat and then both went on our ways. We ended up running the same route, just in opposite directions! I saw a bunch of deer too, including a few fawns. And one turkey and baby turkey too. At some point I decided I wanted at least a 10k so I kept extending the loop and ended up with about 7 miles and 1,000 ft of elevation gain! When I got back to the campsite, I grabbed a water bottle (should have brought one to run with) and sat in the St. Croix River for a few minutes cooling off! It felt great!! It was cool, but humid.
After rinsing off and relaxing, I headed back to the site and had my recovery food which was a Stroopwafel with Maple Almond RX Butter on it! A tasty little treat!