That’s what my training plan said for today: run six miles on the biggest hills you can find. I headed to the Sawnee Mountain Preserve, mostly because Mom has declared it too steep and scary to even consider running. So those must be the biggest hills I can find, right?
A quick note about Sawnee Mountain Preserve: it’s a park with a series of hiking trails that lead, at the top, to the Indian seats, which is a rocky overlook that, on a clear day (the exact opposite of today), offers an unobstructed view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park is new, but the Indian seats are not. When I was a teenager, this was where the kids would hike (illegally) to do things they weren’t supposed to do. I didn’t get around to many of the things I wasn’t supposed to do until college, so until today, I’ve never been to the Indian seats.
Let me say, one more time, I’m so proud of my town for being smart enough to build all these parks. It was a beautiful, and yes, challenging run. Hard. Painful in parts. But not impossible. And then, of course, I got lost.
Just a tenth of a mile into the trail, you run across this. I have no idea what it is. But it's cool, no?
No, you're not dizzy. After this photo, I realized that my lens was smudged and sweaty.
Most of the hills are like this - kind of steep, but then you get a little break.
And then you get to this stretch, where you think you might asphyxiate. But you probably won't. Hang in there.
This is your reward. In my case, I got this reward TWICE. The whole trail, if you include both of the top trails, is about 3 miles, so I did the loop twice. Because, if nothing else, I am a direction follower.
Does anyone know what this is? I remember stories about caves in this area. I remember because I always imagined Tom Sawyer hiding in them. Which is to say, I've been a nerd my whole life.
Eventually, you get to go down. Or in my case, you go around. I got lost and ended up doing the trail that circles the base of the mountain as well, which was serendipitous because I passed two marvelous elderly men with a walking sticks, and one of them called out, Young lady, that looks fun!