Friday, September 25, 2020

something new is waiting

Week 18 and things are starting to wearing thin. Running has become a chore - something that just has to get done - and I find myself going to the same places I have always gone, running the same routes over and over again. I still don't feel like driving far and there is nothing lose by I haven't already explored before. I find myself parking at different spots and adding more and more out and backs on gravel forest roads just to get whatever mileage I'm supposed to get that day. On Tuesday, I parked at a new spot on the same road I always go to and started running to my usual turn around spot. For whatever reason, I made a turn onto another road. I'd been on that road before and know it goes nowhere but took it to add some additional miles to the usual boring run. So, out and back we went but on the way back I saw something and made a detour onto a faint bit of forgotten single track. Overgrown and long neglected but still better than the same old roads and trails so we kept going and surprisingly the trail did too. I expected it to dead end or dump me back on the road after a short while but it just kept going on and on. Then, at one point, there was a turn. Right or left - I picked right and still expected it to end soon but it just kept going on and on and on. I kept trying to figure out where it was headed and plotted the course on the map in my mind and knew where I was going to end up but when a gravel road appeared in front of me I recognized it and had been completely wrong about where I was and was quite happily surprised.

So, on Wednesday, the dog and I headed right back out there, this time to meet Yuri and explore the left turn where I had gone right the night before. The left was just as surprising as the right, although not nearly as long and where it led was just as surprising as the trail I had taken the night before and left me with even more questions. That night as I we were getting ready to drive home I saw something else that was interesting and knew I would be right back out there on Thursday.

All day at work I was thinking about what I had seen and what it might be. It looked like just another faint bit of long lost trail but based on the previous two nights I wasn't ruling anything out so the dog and I took it. The other two nights had me pleasantly surprised but Thursday's outing blew my mind. This old single track should have led nowhere fast but it just kept going and going. I had decided to wear my vest and threw my headlamp in it at the last moment and was glad I did because when the trail finally ended I was nowhere near where I should have been and was a long way from the truck. It was totally dark and raining and Akira and I slogged out the last few miles on familiar trails and roads and finished tired but quite satisfied with the unexpected turns our usually boring mid-week runs had taken with their adventures in Pisgah.

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