Training at Dash Point State Park

With no clear origin of the name and once owned by the McLeod family, the land now known as Dash Point State Park was sold in the 1940’s to Washington State with instructions for the land to eventually be turned into a park. During the 1962 Seattle’s World Fair, the park was finally dedicated and since then has been developed and used extensively by campers, mountain bikers, day-hikers, and of course trail-runners looking for a quick escape from the city. Following mostly the upcoming Dash Point Trail Run, this past Saturday’s (02/16/2014) 13 mile, 1772 feet of vert run was a double loop in the nearby compact Dash Point State Park.

Tt50 - 0216 Dash Point State Park

Getting a late start in the cold, wet, dreary Northwest February day (that’s nothing new on all fronts), I checked the radar to see if there was any way to avoid the unavoidable rain. There was a long storm front I could see on the 360 mile radar moving from the Pacific Ocean towards the entire state of Washington. It literally was a storm front that extended for the most part all the way down to Oregon with the intensity centered farther north and tailing off towards the south. So, naturally I went south and for the most part avoided most the nastiest of the weather.

The park itself is quite compact and I had to weave around a counterclockwise loop, doubling back on trails multiple times and adding in a lollypop just to hit 10k. It’s also seems to be heavily used by mountain bikers, so the singletrack trails are often pitted and rutted and quite muddy. Few downed trees were strewn across the never so steep enough hills that a bike wouldn’t be able to access them made for a trail system easily runnable which I took full advantage of.

Having to run two loops to hit the 13 miles gave plenty of opportunity to scope out good spots to set up camera shots. Unfortunately a camera malfunction and by camera malfunction I of course mean user-error made most the footage unusable. Apparently a light on means the camera is on, while a light not on means the camera is not on. I did however get plenty of footage from the jostling camera in the pocket looking clumsily toward the gray overcast sky and the often overlooked underside of of where my chin meets my neck. After looking at that same shot (although sometimes rotated 90 degrees to the right and sometimes 90 degrees to the left) I can honestly say I understand why that area of my face is undervalued. Truly some of the most captivating clips I’ve ever shot.

Dash Point State Park isn’t pretty under an overcast dreary February afternoon, but that’s a bit unfair to the park. While it lacks steep terrain and dense foliage or towering trees and the quietness and remoteness of most state parks, it does border Puget Sound and if the weather was 30 degrees warmer, the sky blue, the sun in full blast filtering through summer leaves, I’m sure soaking my feet and legs in the lapping water on beach would be a great way to end a long run. Unfortunately Saturday was not that day.

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