Friday, July 10, 2015


Wednesday I was up early, but not quite as early, to run 6 miles on the cart paths. Saw one deer, one red-spotted newt and one towhee. Also stopped to pick a few blueberries on the powerlines on the way home - too delicious to resist! Felt a bit tired as I hadn't slept much Tuesday night, and obviously wasn't quite with it as I somehow neglected to start my watch when I left the house. AIE! The horror :) Luckily I've run the cart paths enough to know where two miles is give or take a few steps, so just started it late. Very misty, muggy, humid.

Yesterday was another 4am alarm, this time for the 8 mile loop on the Cathance trails. Much cooler and less heavy this morning and felt decent. Very quiet out in the woods at 5am, and I lucked out with three separate deer sightings. Also scared up what I can only assume was a grouse, as it scared the heck out of me with its flapping as it raced off into the brush. Someone has been out cutting back the brush along the trails, and has made a very wide swath through the field, which is a welcome change from years past when that stretch has essentially been unusable due to being so overgrown. Thank you, trail maintainers!

This morning, I dropped Sam off at work and then headed out to Phippsburg. Part of my goal for this year was "different races, new places." I meant new places both in terms of the races and running. It was fun last week to check out the Whiskeag Trail and I hope to do a bit more exploring this summer and fall. Today was another exploration day, this time on the Sprague Pond Trail. The trailhead was off a random dirt road, but there was another car in the lot and a nice trail sign so I knew I was in the right place :)


Not quite going to blend in with my surroundings today ;)

The trail set off through tall grasses for the first 100 yards, but then opened up onto an old woods road, which then turned into a sort of almost doubletrack trail for a while before opening up to a rock ledge with a trail sign noting "loop trail." I turned right and was happy to find that the trail was a fun, cushiony, pine needle covered singletrack winding through the forest, going up and down little ledges, meandering around outcroppings, wandering through blueberry bushes. It intersected with other old woods roads now and again and used those too, but it was a nice mix. I'd guess this trail sees little use, as it was fairly overgrown in spots and could use some brush cutting, but it was really lovely. I took my time, stopping to take photos of neat stretches of trail and eating a lot of blueberries along the way. I took one wrong turn at some point, following the old road instead of the trail when it turned in the woods, but once I realized I hadn't seen a blaze in a while, I quickly turned around and found my way easily enough.
Double track

Cushy, pine needle covered singletrack

Rocky ledges

Sweet blueberries along the ridge

Cool rock formation

About 3 1/2 miles in, I hit the far edge of Sprague Pond and took the short side trail out to its banks. Very pretty with sheep laurel and a lot of water lilies.

Sprague Pond

Water's edge

Cool waterfall 

After a quick stop at the waterfall, it was about 2 miles back to the car. A very cool loop!

Tomorrow is a day of rest and then it is down to NH for Bear Brook on Sunday. Supposed to be a hot one, but hopefully I will fare OK. Not racing this one per say, just looking to get in a good long run as part of my training. Going in on tired legs but looking forward to a new race in yet another different place!

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