This was an almost disaster from the start, but it all worked out. One of our guide books suggested taking Spring Creek Trail to the Lone Star trail, rather than the Lone Star trail from Kepler Cascades, to shave off over a mile on the 5+ mile round trip. R2 and I decided to run there to make it in time for a possible eruption of the geyser. It was beautiful, but overgrown in many places — seems like this trail is not used much. That was confirmed when R2 and I ran into a ranger who said he hadn’t expected to see anyone on that particular trail!
R2 and I continued on, but eventually I started thinking something was amiss… We should have been to the trail intersection some time ago if the guide book was correct. After an extra half to three quarters of a mile, I decided to turn back and find Kelly and R1. When we met up a few minutes later, I decided to run forward and see if I could find the intersection. It was roughly a half mile ahead, so we decided that Kelly and the kids would press on, I’d run back up the trail, get the car, and drive down to the main trail head. I took off and made it a little over a mile before I realized I did not have the car keys — I had given my pack to R1 to reduce weight while running back. So I turned around, ran back, and eventually met up with the family on the main trail, and walked in to the Geyser. Somehow with all the extra time on the longer trail we made it! We were treated to a good show, though perhaps not a full eruption, but still cool to see our 1st geyser.
We decided I’d run the main trail back and hitch a ride to our car, so I took off. Less than 5 minutes later, I realized I again did not have the keys! Ugh! So I ran back, then walked with the family a bit, before running a couple of miles to the trail head. I had met a father-son hiking duo about .75 miles from the trail head, who said they’d give me a ride, but opted to run on to see if I could get a ride a bit quicker. I got to the parking lot and was about to stick out my thumb, when the “Amazon Couple” we had met at the geyser and who rode their bikes to their RV were pulling out, and let me hop in for the 3 – 4 mile ride back to the car. (I call them the “Amazon Couple” because they are basically park hobo’s living out of an RV, but had worked at Amazon in over the winter to help fund their life style.)
I got back in the rental car, drove to the main trail head, walked down the trail, until I met up with everyone. We hiked out, and then drove down to Old Faithful, before heading up to the north of Yellowstone to our hotel for the 2nd half of our trip.
I ended up with roughly 9 miles of hiking and running, mostly running, all in my Luna’s, with terrain varying from a bit of paved path, single track, rocks, swamp/marsh, etc.