I was joined by my new friend Mike Harsh when I ran the last marathon of the National Parks in the lower 48 states at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado. Mike and I got connected because he is the boyfriend of the sister of Ron Peck who ran the marathon with me at two National Parks, Acadia (the first!) and Rocky Mountain. I was very happy to have someone with me for the last park in the lower 48 and make a new friend who also lives in Denver.

We ran on the north side of the canyon along the rim road, out Deadhorse Trail and then back to summit Green Mountain. It was a hot, dusty and for me an inspiring day. First I was inspired by the canyon and how it is different than any other canyon I’ve seen. And second, I was inspired by Mike who ran only his fifth marathon in his life just for fun, with me at a National Park. That is truly awesome.

The park is not familiar to many people but it should be. The black in the canyon's name refers to the fact that parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day. You can rock climb, hike, run, raft or just marvel at the vein like rock walls which reminded me of a heart. It is worth the trip.