Wednesday, September 25

Pockets of Resistance, Too

This is a continuation of my recent "Pockets of Resistence" post.  I was actually going to tack this on the morning that post was scheduled to fly but my wonderful iOS 7 machine wouldn't let me edit a scheduled post.  Weird.  I decided it made sense to just do a pathetic sequel two days later.  It reminds me of the time I was loitering in the video store where my wife-to-be worked.  There was a couple picking out an insanely impossible number of movies.  I mean, there's no way in heck-far they'd be able to watch half the movies in their stack before they'd be due.  The guy was basically stacking up all of the UFC tapes and the female yang to his yin was actually trying to come up with something thoughtful to watch.
 
"Here's 'Home Alone 3.'  It has a different kid in it.  I heard it's good."
 
Anyway, I'm not a fan of sequels for their own sake, but while this started out to be tacked on to another post it became a sort of 'Hobbit-in-three-parts' kind of project.  Except...I probably won't write a third part.
 
 
I'm going to start pestering the fire (pronounced "far") out of the local Forest Service personnel.  Here's my spiel:

Me:  I live here.  I am obsessed with mountain biking.  We have exactly one legal mountain bike trail in the Forest.  It has issues.  I'm not going away until you address those issues.  I'm.  Not.  Going.  Away.

Now, I've never been that persistent in my life.  I give up on things faster'n a fat cyclist bombs down a steep hill.  But Smokey the Bear don't know that.  For all Smokey knows I'm going to be all up in his face like a swarm of angry bees whose hunny has been plundered.

Saturday we volunteered at Tomahawk's first foray into organizing a 5k.  The Kentucky Wood Expo was at Masterson Station Park in Lexington and Tom was charged with putting on a running race.  It went off without a hitch and all involved had a blast.  Unfortunately due to some regional sogginess the participational numbers were low.  But that's beside the point...

On my training path to a half marathon I was due to run 12 miles on Saturday.  Since Mandy and were both involved on the non-run/jog side of the event I had to come up with another run.  Of late my knees have complained less to me on the days when I've ran on dirt than on the days I've ran on hard surfaces.  I decided I wanted to do a 12 mile trail run.

Mandy had decided she would incorporate a nap into her Saturday training plan and do her 12 on Sunday.  I couldn't argue with that logic, but I was itching uncontrollably to get out in the woodsen.  As I am wont to do I flip flopped on where I wanted to run, alternating from an Auxier Loop plus Jailhouse and Star Gap ridges and a Powder Mill Branch Trail to Spaas Creek/Hatton Ridge lollipop.

I settled on Powder Mill to Hatton Ridge to Spaas Creek.  I amended that plan when I got to the ridge after climbing up Powder Mill Branch.  To connect this loop I had in mind I had to find an obscure ATV/horse trail I stumbled upon six or seven years ago and hiked exactly one time.  This past winter I tried biking up Spaas Creek and tried to note the lower terminus of said trail but concluded that it "had probably grown over."

I never forgot that, but I hadn't fully pondered the implications.  That, and my loop was going to involve many, many creek crossings meaning my feet would get wet and stay wet as I ran miles and miles and miles and miles and miles more than I ever had.  That didn't seem like the best thing ever so I modified the plan:  stick to the ridge.

I love the Spaas Creek and Hatton Ridge area.  I've explored literally every inch of cliff line rimming Spaas Creek and much of Short Creek as well.  I know my way around.  
 
The earlier rains had started to clear out, and it was cool enough that the humidity wasn't immediately oppressive.  But when I reached the cemetery I decided to shed my cotton overshirt and my leggings.  They were just getting to be too heavy.  I draped them over the FS gate and continued north along the ridge until I snagged what I believed to be 6 miles.  Then I turned back and was almost immediately run down by three ATVs.  I hate 'em.
 
Anyway, I ran back, occassionally checking Strava, and saw that I was keeping a 4.5+ mph average speed.  It seemed much longer going back out the ridge toward the upper Powder Mill Branch terminus, but it was enjoyable to be out in the cool air, seeing the opening ceremonies of fall as I got to move my body through space.  It was a smorgasboard of sensory input and a milkshake of proprioceptive goodness.  I didn't want the run to end.
 
When I reached the upper part of Powder Mill I had 2.5 miles to go back to the car, and it was all downhill.  Reluctantly I dropped into the drainage.
 
Someone--probably equestrian--has cleared the downed logs I saw on the trail when I rode it back in the winter.  I'd been somewhat disappointed then, but this last trip down Powder Mill has me thinking it deserves to be ridden and enjoyed.  It's a really good trail.
 
 
 
 

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