Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More Exploring

Today I spent two and a half hours exploring the labyrinth of unofficial, unmarked, and unmapped trails in the Leavitt Plantation. There is so much more for me to find. I hope I can get out there a lot more before the snow falls. Once the single track and more remote tote roads are covered for the winter, there is no way I will be able to stay on trail. There is always snow shoeing and skiing to look forward to, but right now this rambling through the woods is a blast!

It felt like the temperature was probably in the mid fifties when I set out with Scout at about 1:30 this afternoon. It was cloudy and we got showered on a few times, but it felt great. The trails and roads we ran today were extremely hilly and fun. There were a few wet areas, but nothing bad. I did manage to get a little misplaced near the end of our run. We had already been out over two hours and Scout was tired. We were within a mile of the car when I spotted a single track trail off to my right. There was no resisting, I had to see where it went. It was very long and winding and hilly. It just kept going and going and turning and twisting. I became totally disoriented, but had to see it through to the end.

Finally I came out on a narrow tote road, but I didn't know which way to head down the road. Just then I noticed that Scout had lost his cow bell and his orange vest. I have a hard time keeping track of him without both of those things. He is hard to see in the woods because of his color and the vest makes him very easy to spot. The bell let's me run on ahead when he stops to explore, and still be able to know he is nearby. We back tracked a short way back on the trail we had just come off of and I did find his vest, but no bell.

By now I was starting to worry a little that it would get dark before I could find my way out. Scout seemed to feel we should turn right on the tote road. His guess was as good as mine so I went with it. In a few miles we were back on familiar trail! Scout amazes me with the way he can find his way around in the woods. Maybe he can teach me a few things! Scout was exhausted during the home stretch, and I felt a little guilty about taking him on such a long outing, but we made it back to the car right at dusk. He napped all the way home and will sleep good tonight. I'll leave him home tomorrow when I go back out there. It's addictive!

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