Last weekends adventures were interesting and not necessarily fun. Or maybe they were fun but just not the type of fun I was looking for at the time. Or maybe they were exactly what I was looking for. I don't even know anymore...
On Saturday I rode South Mills River trail out and back from Turkey Pen to Wolf Ford and fished along the way. South Mills River is probably the flatest trail in the area but is also arguably the most challenging. The trail leads users across uncountable river crossings through an impossible tangle of dog hobble, over plenty of dead fall and endless mud pits. As pleasant as that sounds the stretch of trail between Cantrell Creek and Wolf Ford is amazingly beautiful and a perfect place to try your luck against wild mountain trout.
As I wrestled my way through the trail I stopped at this serene spot and made a few casts. It didn't take long before a big brook trout hit my fly. It felt like my line got hit by a brick and after a short fight I had caught and released my biggest wild trout to date. An amazing fish.
On Sunday Jon and I made an attempt at getting the band back together and met up for a fun run. We shuttled to Shope Creek from his house and then made our way up through Shope Creek to the Blue Ridge Parkway where we crossed over and bushwhacked our way to the top of Lane Pinnacle. That made for a lot of elevation gain in not a lot of miles. It also meant that the last three quarters of the run would all be downhill on the MST. That sounds great if you like downhill but I don't and the run quickly became a study in misery with me simply trying to survive. The only other time I had been on most of that stretch of trail was during the FAC50k and interestingly after Rattlesnake Lodge I didn't recognize any of the trail from the FAC... Nothing lasts and after sufficient agony we dropped the final mile down through Haw Creek and back to Jon's house in east Asheville.