Trailroad Running

I have officially registered for the Moose Mountain Marathon on Sept. 11, which is on some pretty serious trails, so it’s definitely time to start logging more mountain hours. This afternoon I drove into the Appalachian foothills with no real plan, no trail guide and no cell phone service, which is how it came to be that today’s trail run was … well, it was on a road. But it was only a road in the very loosest of definitions. It was one of those road that isn’t passable half the year. So, yeah. A trail.

This is the road: Forest Service 28-2. Looks like a road, right? I didn’t want a road, but I also didn’t want to try driving Benji through the crazy ruts on FS 28-1, which is the road that takes you to the start of the Appalachian Trail. Before I attempted that questionable drive, I thought I’d check out 28-2 and see where it went.

As scenery goes, this road has a lot to offer (in evidence: lovely bridge), but I still didn’t want to run on the road, and I needed bigger hills. I thought if I kept driving I might find some random trail that would connect to the AT.

And then the pavement ended.

And the incline kicked up. I drove up and up and up – this is pretty much exactly how it looks the whole way – and I never passed another car.

What was even more perfect was that the first part of the dirt road was lined with camp sites, like this one, where Benji could hang out in the shade while I ran.

It’s ALL uphill, unlike a trail, and it’s a bumpy run, but it was beautiful. Butterflies everywhere. And of course, nothing’s ALL uphill anyway. There’s the up half, but there’s also always the down.

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