Don't get me wrong, cake is great... but, my idea of how to best celebrate another year is to find something new to conquer or explore, then spend the next few days refueling and recovering!
Sunday, a friend and I met up in a nearby town at an hour that really should be spent under fluffy covers with a soft pillow. We did a quick transfer of gear and discussed our options again. Then headed to the North Umpqua River outside of Glide, OR.
North Umpqua River, as seen from Mott Bridge
Kristen had a plan for a loop that included about 6 miles of the trail called the "Mott" segment, with a 6 mile return down a different trail. (This would be about 2 miles longer than I have ran in over 6 months.)
Skies had been wet, and the climate is always cooler up in the Cascades. So, we dressed in layers and I brought some essential trail items "just in case". :)
We arrived at our destination at dawn and found a nice, weathered outhouse. And some guy in a van who looked like he spent the night there. He was going to bike the first section we planned to run.
First bit of trail as we headed out..
As we headed upriver, I noticed right away that the trail was beautiful, but had a lot more rocks than another segment downriver. There were some close calls, as sometimes those rocks and roots can sneak up on a runner! I was glad I had on my Brooks PureGrits, because they allow me to "feel" the terrain without slipping. This was probably the scariest bit of running trail I have ever been on. I am sure I will see scarier though!
The single-track got rather narrow at one point, with a steep wall on one side and a drop off to the river on the other side.. And there were 2 trees across the path. I thought of the cyclist and hoped he was an expert! O_o
At the end of the Mott segment, we took a bridge (built by the CCC in 1936) across the river. Then we ran along the road for about 1/2 mile before picking up the Riverview trail back down. This trail was much wider, having been made for forestry vehicles.
Tiny mushroom growing near a campground outhouse :D
Downhill = fun running!!
I don't know any of our actual distance or pace information, since we left before I got a good GPS reading. Oops! Chances are good we might have lost the signal anyway.
Afterwards I was fortunate to get a hot shower at Kristen's house before heading home. If you ask me- a hot shower is a real treat after a cold run! So is a little cake :)
Do you do anything "running related" to celebrate your birthday?
What items would you take "just in case" if you were heading out to run new territory?
Cake, ice cream, or neither?