Happy Father’s Day

Hey ATRC folks,

I blame my Dad for my trail running bug.

When I was a kid, my Mom and Dad would drag me out West every spring break to visit National Parks and some of the most beautiful places on Earth. And I hated it. I complained almost every day we were out there. I fought with my brothers and whined in the car the whole way there and back. But every year during spring break, we drove. Or rather, my dad drove, oftentimes 15-20 hours at a stretch. He once drove us 22 hours to San Francisco with only bathroom breaks in between, all because he had a schedule of places he wanted to show his children, to enrich our minds and cultivate a love of nature within us. So from about age 8 to 16, we visited almost every national park in the lower 48 states, either in California, or in the desert southwest, or in the Appalachian mountains. And while I really despised it as a kid, over the years I learned to love it.

I soon became the kid in our family that couldn’t hike enough. I began to hike 3-4 times a week in places around town, or even driving by myself for hours out to various parks to walk in the woods. This soon led to backpacking trips, and that led to my life changing walk on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Now I run trails. It’s just another extension of my love for places that have not yet been totally conquered by human civilization. It’s another way for me to participate in the primal act of grounding myself in nature. And I blame my Dad for instilling that love in me.

So now I’m at my apartment, packing up and getting ready to go to South Dakota for a long race. My Dad is out picking up a rental car. My original plan had been to drive up there myself, run my race, and then drive back when my legs had recovered enough. But when my Dad heard about my (admittedly ill-thought out) plan, he offered to drive me up there and get a hotel for us. We’re also gonna visit Mount Rushmore. I know that Father’s day is already past, but I wanted to brag on my Dad.

Do any of y’all have fond memories of your Dad or some male role model in your life? I look forward to your comments.

Thanks for reading,

Philip