Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Good Fun Long Run

Today's long run took me on the trails along the Ossipee River in South Hiram and across the South Hiram Road into the Durgintown Woods. The trails and tote roads were about 75% covered with ice and the rest was melted down to dirt. I didn't wear my screw shoes because I thought there would have been more melting from yesterday's temps in the high forties. When I left my house this morning it was in the mid twenties and the ice was nice and crunchy under my feet, offering pretty good traction. Near the end of the run it got up into the thirties and things got a little wet and slick, but it still wasn't terrible footing.

I enjoyed the Ossipee River Trails and was happy to see that the deer are back in full force! They seemed to disappear for a week or so at the end of hunting season and I was afraid that they may have been killed or driven out of the area. But the area was covered with deer tracks of all sizes today. I stopped a few times to see where they were going and where they were coming from. I think it's very interesting that they like to follow our mountain bike trails. When we started the White Tail Trail, they started traveling back and forth on it almost immediately. The same thing happened on the Clencher. These trails are meandering winding trails so it's not as if they provide the fastest or most direct route anywhere. Anyway, I'm intrigued by it.

As soon as I entered the Durgintown Woods, I could tell that there was new logging activity going on in there. The gate from the road was open and there were tire tracks on the tote road. A few miles into the Durgintown Woods I came around a bend and came face to face with two guys using chain saws. A pick up truck and a skidder were sitting beside the tote road. I stopped and inched forward, waiting for a sign from the loggers that I could pass. The older of the two stopped his chain saw and walked over to me with a smile. "You still running all around in the woods?" he asked. He looked familiar but I don't remember where I met him before. He was friendly and told me when it was Okay to go through.

I certainly have met a lot of loggers in the woods over the years! This area has a lot of undeveloped forest and the reason it's here is because local logging families own most of it. My son is a genuine "townie" and knows everyone in the area, so it's not uncommon for me to run through a logging operation to an embarrassing chorus of "There goes Danny's Mom! Hey, Danny's Mom!" Thankfully, I didn't get that today. I hope the Durgintown trails stay open and usable. So far it doesn't look like anything extensive is going on and they are doing a good job of keeping the trail clear. We'll see.

I looped around and came back to the Ossipee River Trails. The ice in a slow moving inlet was starting to break up and making some crazy loud snaps and cracks and pops. It was worth stopping and listening for a few minutes. I finished up the run by looking at my Garmen for the first time all day. I wanted sixteen miles, so I zig zagged and criss crossed around the familiar trails to make it work out to be pretty darned close by the time I got home. It turned out to be 15.9 miles at under ten minute per mile pace, not bad for icy trails and a lot of goofing around!

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