Friday, June 8, 2018

High Point Fun

We left last night after dinner and it was slightly under 5 hours to our hotel in Fishkill. I managed to get a few hours of sleep in the later portion of the drive, apparently sleeping through some crazy construction zones! Of course, then I had a hard time sleeping at the hotel, but oh well.

We woke up, had some mediocre complimentary breakfast at the hotel and drove about 45 minutes up the highway to High Point State Park, NJ. I wanted to get a few miles in to shake out the legs today and Ryan suggested High Point for nostalgia reasons, as the AT goes right through the park. Of course, when we were hiking we never actually took the side trail up to the High Point Monument, because, why add on any additional mileage if we didn't have to?! ;), so this would be our chance!

Pretty sure we were the only ones in the park when we arrived around 8:30 am. We parked down by a little pond and headed out on the Monument Trail along the trail's edge. Very pretty.

Monument Trail

Iris along the water's edge

Turtle working on laying her eggs

Monument Trail running

After a short flat stretch, the trail got rocky and technical and climbed up to the junction with the AT. It really made me smile to be back passing those white blazes again. I could have gone on for miles and miles... We headed up the AT onto the ridge, enjoyed the view from an observation tower and ran/hiked along the trail back to the Visitor's Center then turned around and ran/hiked back the way we came. A nice 2.5 mile stretch with lots of chipmunks scurrying along the trail's edge, including some adorable little baby chippies, four deer seen, some nice sheep laurel and some good old roots and rocks :) 

Yay white blazes!

Monument view

Sweet section of trail

Sheep Laurel

When we got back to the Monument Trail, we continued on up to, you guessed it, the monument :) It was a pretty steep walk up the hill to the literal high point of NJ with cool 360 degree views out into the countryside. The monument was open, so we went inside and decided to walk up to the top. It was quite a trek! 291 steps each way, and slightly nerve-wracking, even for Ryan who is not afraid of heights! 

Eeekkk! At the top. Totally sweating as it was very muggy in there.

Headed down

Couldn't even fit the whole monument in the photo!

Looking up

Vista

High Point

After all those steps, we decided the wisest choice would be to head straight back to the car. I would have loved to have spent more time exploring the park, but there's a race to run tomorrow, after all!! :) Still, a great way to get in a few miles pre-race and to break up the drive. (3.4 miles)

Arrived in Johnstown around 4:00 pm, checked into the hotel, met up with mom and dad and did a little organizing before heading over to pick up my bib number. Then it was off to a surprisingly delicious meal at a rather random Italian/Pizza place. And we even got to try Gob Cake! Apparently a PA tradition, and quite delish. Pretty much a whoopie pie in cake form so how could you go wrong?!

Now there is nothing left to do except try to sleep a bit tonight and be ready to roll tomorrow :) Excited for the adventure!

Set and ready to run!

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