Saturday, March 28, 2015

10 and (almost) 20

Can't let the day go by without remembering that ten years ago today (!!!), after quitting our jobs, selling our house and packing all our belongings into a storage unit, Ryan and I set off for a walk in the woods, following the white blazes north. I've been thinking a lot of all our AT 2005 friends today and smiling at the fun, laughter and misadventures we had along the way :) What a crazy, awesome adventure!! I wonder if I will be able to convince Sam to hike the trail with me 15 years from now? I mean, wouldn't every 20-year old love to hike for 6 months with her mom. HA!

Headed up the Approach Trail

Foggy, soggy Georgia

Start of the AT!

No hiking on tap today to commemorate our AT adventure, but I did get in a great (almost) 20 mile run at the Brad this morning. I was a little worried that the trails wouldn't be in good shape given that it was 34 degrees when I left the house this morning at 6:30 am, but thankfully those snowmobiles really do pack the trails down really well! I decided to check out the mountain side first, so I ran up the Ski Trail to the summit - the snowmobile trail was good and firm - but as soon as I stepped off the summit onto the singletrack in an attempt to run back around on the Boundary Trail, it was a no-go. OK, so back down the packed trail to the parking lot and across the street for 1.5+ miles out and back on the snowmobile trails on that side. Again, nice and packed and decent running as long as you stayed right in the middle :)

I got back to the lot with about 5.5 miles run at 8:00 am and found John suited up and ready to go. No one else showed up, so we took off back across the street onto the snowmobile trail. Conditions remained solid until we reached the powerlines. We decided we'd attempt to head out on the Beautiful Loop and see how far we got. The trails out there were a mixed-bag. And it was really hard to tell what you were going to get! Solid or postholing? It was like roulette :) There was much swearing on my end when I broke through - ha! - although I think I fared better than John overall. We made it about 2 miles out before we were stymied by a long stretch of slushy watery snow in a low area before the river crossing. Our attempts to bushwack around ended with me sinking in up to my knee in snow with slush up to my calf. Brrr! Needless to say, we turned around.

We didn't see much out there except for some turkey tracks by the corn field, and a huge flock of Waxwings flitting in and out of the junipers emerging from the snow out along the powerlines. The light was really flat so I couldn't tell what kind of birds they were at first, until I noticed the bright yellow stripe along the bottom of their tails. Really cool sighting!

Good trail here!

Not so good here...

I trailed behind John pretty much the whole way back, but from my point of view I was still holding a decent pace and wasn't really willing/didn't have the energy to pick it up :) I knew I'd still have a few miles to run to get to 20 once we reached the parking lot, so when John suggested running up to the summit, I said "sure, just wait for me at the top" :) Ha. When we got up there, it was snowing and the wind was blustery. The hawk watcher was up there but said he hadn't seen much all day. Not a big surprise there, though, with the snow, wind and cold temps. After a few minutes of talk, it was getting chilly, so we returned to the parking lot the way we came and ended up with 19.5 miles. I suppose I could have been compulsive and run around the parking lot until the watch beeped 20 but I figured it was close enough ;) Happy to have gotten in a good 3:30 out on the trails today and to have had John's company out there too! 

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