Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 27 - Season's first trail run

My hope for the day was to go out with my buddies from work. One-by-one they bailed.

The idea of yet another cruise through the business park was depressing. Still, I needed to take a rest-mile day.

Gazing out of my window, I saw the woods. Aha! I'll go to the trail! Quick loop and I'll be done.

I love running on trails. The solitude. The soft footing. The whole "One with Nature" vibe. I imagine by the end of the year you'll be sick of me crooning over trail running, so I'll stop for now.

Ok, just one thing... trail runs are never boring. There's always something going on. Something always happens.

You'll see... read on.

This particular trail used to have a pair of rickety bridges, one at each end of the main access trail, to get us, first, over "the gorge" and then over the "piddly run-off".

The geniuses that own and/or manage the building took them down because they were, well, rickety.

I would have preferred a rickety bridge to what I was faced with at the gorge. The banks are steep. They were slick as snot. See that board laying across the upper right? Yeah, that's a nail-riddled 2x4 left over from said rickety bridge.

Any sensible person would have turned around.

Not surprisingly, I pressed on.

You can see that there was plenty of footing with the packed and frozen debris, right?


Wrong. That packed frozen debris is actually a wafer-thin, false-footing, liar. My left foot went straight through up to my ankle. (You can kinda see the hole just below the sticks that cross.)

"Man was I lucky not to have gone clear down to the water. I'll just step here where it's plenty solid."

Crunch! Crack! Plooosh! "Why do these leaves lie to me, so?!"

This time I went in up to my knee. All the way. Into the water. Wicked, cold water. (You can also kinda see this hole just below the snow.)

I couldn't help but laugh at myself. Shook the water off of my foot, and trudged on, lucky not to have broken a bone or gashed my leg.

On the other side I saw nothing but bunny tracks. This was a great sign. No one, save the bunny, had been here in a while. The most interesting bits of trail are the ones no one goes on. That and the horrendously dangerous bits.

Soon the trail met a more traveled section. Sights like this get me moving just a bit faster. You couldn't have wiped the grin off my face... wet toes be damned.

Since I was keeping the mileage low, I was just going to hit the "piddly run-off" crossing, which nearly always is easily passable thanks to some well-placed hunks of concrete. I sure wasn't going to cross the gorge again... heh, heh... no way, that would be stupid... wuh?...

Great. The "piddly run-off" was a good 18 inches deep and running like mad. I don't know what was melting (it was 24F) but something was, and it was in a hurry to get to the river.

Faced with my pending return to the gorge and accompanying dance with death, I decided I might as well make the most out of what could be my last few minutes alive. I took the side trail deeper into the woods.

Along the gently-meandering trail, I came upon this not-so-subtle reminder that my hurdling days are well behind me. I tried anyway. It wasn't pretty. No harm, except for the ego.

Deeper into the woods, I startled a big bird. I'm assuming a heron. It in turn startled a deer. As I watched the deer scamper up ahead of me, I felt a glare from my right.

It was another deer. Much bigger than the first one. Much bigger and closer than it appears in the picture above. I'm pretty sure I could hear her saying, "Get out of my woods before I shove a hoof up your ass." (Sorry for the language, it was the deer, not me.)

Here's a picture of the other deer. See it off in the distance there? Me neither.

I managed to survive the second crossing of the gorge without dipping back into the water with what were at that point little toe-cicles. But before I did, I snapped the pic below.

I'm proud to have added my tracks to those of that brave little bunny.

Good running,
Doug

Numbers: 2.2 miles. Toes have feeling again.