|I'm "Glowhead" and Ed Johnson is the other runner.|
The picture above captures exactly how much fun we had this morning, when we left from Richard's house for our usual Pratt Ave Ranger Station out & back trail run. Torrential downpours over the last few days actually turned the out leg of the run into an upstream swim for much of the lower section of Tollgate Trail. It was a ton of fun.
Richard, Ed and I left around 5:15 AM this morning, after spotting lightning just behind the mountain. We had decided to turn around once we would hear thunder. Fortunately, that never materialized and we ended up having one heck of a trail run...or should I say swim? After we completed the lower portion of Tollgate Trail, we moved across Fearn Street, listening to the raging waters of the now extremely active creek at Cold Springs long before actually crossing it. At this point, we really didn't care anymore about wet feet, what was the point? We were soaked anyway.
After crossing the creek and many other newly formed creeks due to the rainfall, the trails turned from ankle deep water to more and more muddy. Did I mention that it was a lotta fun? I continued my climb to the burnt down Ranger Station watching every step in the darkness, careful not to roll my ankles again. The run up is easy, it's the downhill trail running that's been giving me trouble since my little tendon injury last November.
As we headed back down the mountain we briefly considered running down Fearn Street and Bankhead Parkway instead of the still flooded trails. However, we had noticed that some vandals had moved some of the Mountain Mist 50K course markers (flags and tape) we had placed on Saturday, so we wanted to make sure we'd fix what we could before returning home. We were able to fix all of it but one taped off side trail section.
The temps were just perfect and as we continued on our way back, the sky even cleared up a little bit. Once again, I was glad I made the decision to brave the initially bad weather only to be rewarded with some awesome trail running. Although references were made by my fellow runners that it felt more like we were Salmon trying to swim upstream;-)
|Another pic added by request. Unfortunately, quality is not up to par:-(|