In Search of a Waterfall Unseen

Bertha and I’d been hearing great reports of a waterfall in the Boise Foothills by many of our running friends. We were determined to see it for ourselves, so, armed with some rough instructions and a map, we ventured out this evening.

We felt fairly proud of ourselves for pulling out the trail map and orienting ourselves with our location and choosing the right direction at each junction. The scenery from Camel’s Back Park along the creeks and lush trails was a nice change from our usual routes. We couldn’t help but pull out the cameras and take lots of photos as we went. But, time got away from us….

After nearly 8 miles, the sun was going down. It was growing darker around us and we realized we didn’t even have our headlamps.  We were on rocky, single-track trials and you really need to see where you’re stepping to be safe. We cut cross-country right up the side of a brush-covered hill, scratching up our exposed legs as we huffed and puffed up the hill to get back to the main, long, dirt road that would eventually lead us back to the city and the park where our car was — but, in doing so, we had to cut short our route and missed the waterfall.  I was low on food and really bonking. Bertha was tired as well. And we were both feeling a little bit scared being so far away from anyone, out in the mountains.

Much of the stretch down 8th street (the long, winding, rutted, rocky dirt road) is downhill.  It’s also out in the boonies, so there are no street lights or houses for miles.  We started running and we picked up the pace. We could hardly see a thing, but we were flying – eager to get out of the eerie dark and back to safety.  About a mile down the road, I came around a curve and nearly bumped into a few guys replacing a flat tire on a car. I gave Bertha a panicky look and just focused on getting past them and out of there.  A few minutes later, a vehicle carrying a bunch of rowdy college boys blew by us and they wolf-whistled and howled as they went. I felt uncomfortable and irritated and wanted them to just go away and leave us alone as we continued to thwump thwump thwump in perfect scynronization down the dark, dirty road towards the city lights far in the distance.

We ran side-by-side.  A huge smile spread over my face as I realized that she hadn’t asked to slow down or stop and we’d been hammering at it for more than two miles. She was keeping up with me and it felt awesome to run so fast side-by-side with my best friend.  I cranked it up a little bit and she responded and together we just flew down that mountainside.  Our best mile tonight was mile 11 – after running for nearly 3 hours on trails. The pace? 7:52. It was FUN! And we still had 3 miles to go.

We made it back to the car in the dark parking lot and called our husbands to let them know that we were safe — even though it was so late. We were high-fiving and laughing about how fast we’d ran when we were afraid out there. It brought out something unique in us and we were both keenly aware of what a special experience we’d had.

We drove to a local Shari’s and I had pancakes, sausages, bacon and hashbrowns with strawberry cheesecake pie for dessert and hot cocoa with whipped cream and colored sprinkles.  Bertha had a sandwich, soup and some strawberry pie too. The cute little Asian waiter flirted with the old ladies, so we tipped him well.  It was a good time. Another one for the record books.

Gotta head out there and actually SEE that waterfall soon, though! Maybe Sunday!

Stats: 14.06 miles. 2310 ft elevation gain. 4:14:59 total time. 3:10:13 moving time. Ave pace: 18:08. Moving pace: 13:31. Ave HR: 132.  Felt: Fatigue, but happy and had a second wind!

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