Sixty percent of the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a National Park. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are protected and as much as possible left as they have always been.

What surprised me on the run was how the terrain and foliage changed drastically within a very short distance. The run started briefly on the road and then I started down the L'Esparance Trail. This first part of the run reminded me of the Great Smoky Mountains and forests of the east coast including deer!

As I continued running out toward Ram's Head Point on the Ram's Head Trail the terrain became very desert-like with sand, soft rock and cacti, really big cacti.

There was also the soft sandy beaches and blue water you typically associate with the Virgin Islands. What surprised me was how distinctly different they are and how quickly they change.

For the last 10K I was joined by my friend Mary Vargo. By that time I was hot, tired and a good deal dehydrated. I failed to record any video when she and I were running together but I did get one good selfie.

As I have seen at almost every National Park I visited there was no one on the trails. You want your own beach? Just hike a little bit and it is all yours.

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