Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Harding Truck Trail - 6 miles of snow

I ran Harding Truck Trail on Saturday after a week of a lot of rain. Rain usually wreaks some havoc on forest roads but HTT was in pretty good shape considering. I noticed water completely bypassing one of the new drains put in since the fire. There were some debris flows especially between 4.5 and 5 miles. There was also one slide just before the 8 mile mark. But the most remarkable thing was that the road was covered completely with snow starting a little after the 6 mile mark. The elevation doesn't get much higher after the 6 mile mark but I think the road is a little more sheltered after 7 miles so the snow was deeper in that area. I think it was about 6 inches deep at the most. My foot would break the crust and compress the snow down so that my shoe was below the surface of the snow - but no post-holing. I don't see many animals on my HTT runs but with the snow, I saw a lot of tracks. It looked like maybe skunks and squirrels, rabbits and I think some coyotes. Have you noticed the peculiar way that coyotes leave their droppings prominently displayed? Before, I've seen where they pick out a rock in the middle of a dirt road and poop on that. I saw a few places where they pooped a little on the snow, I guess showing off to the other animals. Maybe coyotes mark their territory with poop instead of pee.

I got tired a little from breaking through the snow with my steps and walked in a few spots. After turning around and heading back down, I went through the series of my hip, then hip flexors, then knees (lower quads) hurting. And as with recent runs, I feel stronger a few days later. I scooped some snow in my water bottles just because. Unfortunately, that got my right hand in particular pretty numb. I finally got it warmed up again at about the 6 mile (to go) mark.

So another joyous day in the mountains.

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