When I decided to do my internship out in Utah I didn’t know a soul out there. I just knew that I wanted to do my internship in a place where I could be exposed to a variety of environments (rural and developed) that had responsibilities that are unique to the west and Summit County was a perfect microcosm. However, after eight weeks out there not only did I come home with a massive amount of knowledge that I somehow have to convert into a 5-10 page paper (What I did over my summer vacation by Bernadette), but I also came home with family.
My very first run in the Wasatch was brutal. However, the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers and the Park City Running Company were amazing. What’s great about these groups is that they are totally inclusive. There is always someone who knows the route waiting at intersections for those who may not know where they are going. No “fend for yourself”. No “figure it out”. It doesn’t matter if you are a Western States Top 15 finisher (Dom) or if you are #teamcaboose everyone is welcomed.
As time went by I started to see familiar faces and started to make some friends. Trail runners by very nature are friendly (most of the time), but these guys welcomed me in like family. I had probably one of of my best running days on the trail, probably ever, with that new family. I started to look forward to those runs.
My very last night in town I spent having dinner with #teamcaboose. I couldn’t have even imagined a more perfect way to cap off my time in Utah. We sat on her deck with a glass of wine, talking, and watched the sunset. I sighed a happy sigh. Family indeed.
Thank you to all the individual Wranglers who were there along the way. Thank you to Park City Running Company for creating the Sunday runs (and for feeding us afterwards). Thank you to everyone who ever led a run or waited at an intersection to point the right way. Thank you to MountainGoat for being your awesome self and being one of the first people who introduced yourself to me. Last, but most certainly not least, thank you to #teamcaboose. You are an inspiration to me in more ways than I can express.
If you all ever decide to visit or race in the DC region please know that you are welcome at my home any time.