I’m here on the west side of the Franklin Mountains getting ready to run over the pass to the east side of El Paso. 13.2 miles of up, then down. The high point is 5200 ft elevation. I just had my breakfast of Hammer Gel and chia seeds. When we start running, the sky is a nice shade of red, no wind, and a chill in the air. Perfect weather for making our way up the mountain. The first mile or so is mostly flat, but in no time we start the climb to Smugglers Gap.
I pass some acquaintances from the Run El Paso Club and I’m feeling kind of spry until I remember that they are recovering from the Odessa and St George Marathons. I stop a few times for some quick photos of the mountains. I can see Mammoth Rock in the distance. I’m able to maintain a slow running pace and am focusing on making it to the rock at the top.
I enjoy the traffic free course along this stretch of highway near Franklin Mts State Park that is being considered for a major freeway with development on both sides. The Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition has been fighting to preserve this area as open space. The desert scenery here is spectacular and I would hate for the view to turn into hotels and strip malls.
Mt Cristo Rey, a 4,675 foot tall mountain in Sunland Park, NM. One of the largest statues of Christ sits on top and every year tens of thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the peak to worship their savior.
P.S. The Madeleine cookies from the baby shower a few weeks ago were most excellent. Thanks to Adelle who made them!