Ya missed me by THAT much. Well, not a miss. Cruising passed Baseball Diamond 5 and an errant ball ticked off the bat, made a popping hit on the steel roof of the dugout to next bounce off my backside. A mere slap as it continued its trajectory easily rolling from my lower shoulder. But it could have made a big impression had I been 1/10 second off my pace bruising ping-pong like off of my scalp instead. Conversely, if I’d have picked up the speed, I might have been long gone during the foul ball ricochet. Fate is the Hunter.
These 900 acres are laced with soft trail through woods. I should have pre-run this loop on the Bolin Creek Trail. My trail buddy looked at me askance as we struggled with navigation. There are many (mountain bike) side track diversions and I was less than a masterful guide. The TrailHeads offer hand drawn maps of lost wanderings, but a GPS handheld sure would have offered assurance as our aborted track resembled thus. Great area for exploration. There’s even a preservation petition.
On a weekend it’s possible to traverse the SAS campus on foot without mixing it up with commuters or private security guards. The eastern exit of the office park is rural country side and after crossing the old bridge into Umstead the path becomes hard packed sand in natural woods. Umstead has many hiking trails and diversions but I was intent on finishing the loop. 5.2 miles
Average speed: nan min/mi
There are many sites that offer to maintain your running statistics. The Run-O-Meter site has the most Zen artistic layout to my eye.
The American Tobacco Trail, part of a national rails to trails push is being completed in stages. When finished it will run 22 miles from The Durham Bulls Athletic Stadium south to Beaver Creek. I had a chance to jog from the southern most trail head to White Oak Church Rd. in Wake County and found it very fine. The traffic was light with 2 equestrian riders, a few mountain bikers and a mom on foot behind a baby stroller. It is a rural section of wide packed white sand and shaded by tall pines and hardwoods. 5.1 miles
Average speed: 0.00 min/mi
Triggered by the Floyd Landis story I pedaled hard for the park. Just as I came off of the trail, but with a ways to go, a tire went soft. Ruh oh. Sans patch kit or air pump, cell, ID, contact list, cash or keys…
Meanwhile back at the keyboard I can review my adventure. Gmaps Pedometer is a nifty tool that puts it all into perspective. Oh! and BTW S’man, thanks for the roadside rescue!
Dawg and I set out an hour before sunrise. The sky had already begun to lighten but under the canopy of trees it is relative darkness. In fact it helps not to focus down directly at the trail but eyes straight ahead. The iris can draw in more light this way and you “see” things peripherally. Well, basic trail definition anyway. One must be mindful for ruts, semi-submerged tree roots, the chance hazard like deadwood or very rare but possible copperhead basking in the residual warmth of the path : – o Other pitfalls: Spider ticks like to spin a strand or two of web across the path so as to snag a free ride from the first host (victim) of the morning to come along. You get this trip wire across the face or torso. Flailing about with your arms/hands to rid the sticky stuff from your hair is futile. Joys of trailblazing. Geez, I’m kind of wondering now why I didn’t just wait for the sun.