Truth be told, I was pressured into it. It seems that all the “cool people” go trail running. And because I always want to be one of the cool people, I recently gave into the peer pressure and decided to hit the trails.
One morning about three weeks ago, I came across a group of runners in a parking lot as the sun was rising. I was headed out on a 15-mile run on a long, flat running path. The temp was in the teens and I was feeling very proud of myself for getting out of bed and tackling the road for such a long run under such extreme conditions. And then I asked the others were they were headed.
“Across the street, there’s a great section of trails,” one of the runners said.
My interest was peaked but not enough to join them. They strapped on their headlights and headed into the woods. I instead headed down the boring, flat trail. But the entire time during my run I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of fun the others were having on the trail in the woods. I was boring. They were cool! Could it be true?
So… this past weekend, I headed back to the park. It was still dark at 7 am, so I did a quick 5-mile run on the flat path to kill some time as I waited for the sun to reach the inside of the woods. When it did, I ducked into the wilderness known as Vickery Creek. WOW! What have I been missing?!
I once hiked in this area with my family, but running through here was a much different experience. I didn’t have much of a plan other than running a total of about six miles. I kept taking one trail after another until I had reached my distance goal. Having no plan, no idea where I was going and no asphalt to deal with, kept me smiling for almost the entire run.
Some of the sections of the trail were pretty technical and required me to be very careful with my footing. The last thing I wanted to do was twist my ankle in the middle of the woods. But for the most part, I would classify the level of difficulty at about 5 on a scale of 1-10. (Other than an early section where I made a wrong turn and found myself rock climbing up a cliff above the river! Note to self: Don’t make that wrong turn again.)
When I got down to a section along the creek, I crossed the water by walking across a huge water pipe. I thought there would be an easy way back across after, but instead I found myself needing to exit the woods and head back to the roads for a brief section of neighborhood running before circling back to get on the trails.
I can see myself making these trails a common part of my running routine.
Here are a few pics. They are all iPhone photos, so the quality is not the best but you can get the idea.
This is right at the start of the trail as you head down along the river before heading up to the main sections of the trail.
This is a view from the middle of Vickery Creek. I’m standing on a big water pipe.
Her’s a covered bridge that crosses the creek over the the Old Roswell Mill.
And here’s a shot of what’s left of the Old Mill.
This was a GREAT run. I am definitely headed back there again. Now I know what all the cool people have been talking about!