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Over the mountains and to the store

On a recent drive home from a family trip, my husband (as he often does) pointed out the window and said, “If only there was a road that went straight through those mountains, we’d be home so much faster."

Being the directionally challenged person that I am, I took his word for it — that is, until a few days ago.

It was a Saturday morning and, as usual, we had a busy day ahead of us. The kids had indoor soccer games, and my husband and I had a much-needed date that night. It was also the only day to get shopping, housework and my long run in.

In an effort to save some time, I figured that I would run the 20 miles to the store.

The plan was that I would wake up early, run to the store and do my shopping. My husband would then meet me there with the kids, and we would continue on with what we had planned for the morning.

As I headed out, I ran toward the paved parkway and figured I would run that until it eventually connected with the main road that the store was on.

But as I made my way to the intersection at the end of my street, I saw the mountains and was immediately reminded of what my husband had said days earlier. Was it really shorter to cross over the mountains — or, in my case, foothills?

There was only one way to find out.

I decided to completely bypass the evenly paved parkway in favor of some rocky dirt trails.

As I made my way up to the top of the first foothill — my heart rate up and quadriceps burning — I was immediately pleased with my decision. I made my way along the ridgeline for a few meters and was met with a steep decline toward the valley.

That part was awesome.

I met up with a fire road that carried me through the valley to the base of the second foothill. Again, my heart rate soared as I power-hiked my way to the top, still traveling on rocky fire roads.

When I made it to the top, I knew that all that separated me from my destination was one more steep downhill, a few ATV trails and a handful of road miles. But as I made my way down the hillside, there was no trail to be seen.

No problem. I bushwhacked my way down, eventually meeting up with a deer trail that led me to where I needed to go.

When I reached my destination, I looked at my watch and found that by going over the mountains, I did in fact cut miles off — three of them, to be exact. Was it the easiest way to do it? Most definitely not. But it was by far the coolest.

The next time my husband points at the mountains, proclaiming it’s the shortest distance home — all while wishing for a road to be built — I can attest to the shorter distance.

But I prefer to keep my mountains just the way they are.

Arianne is a mother of six young children. Her downtime is spent running the trails of the Wasatch Mountains and beyond. Contact her at ariannebrown1@gmail.com or follow her on Facebook at "A Mother's Write" or on Twitter at arimom6.