I planned all week to get a decent long run in this weekend and finally got that accomplished. I decided to check out the new Bradbury/Pineland connector even though the girl at Bradbury said the rivers were uncrossable.
I arrived at Bradbury to find an empty lot (except for one lonely car) I figured as much because it was about 30 degrees,slightly snow covered and a bit early to see Trail Monsters (though I didn't know if any were running here today). This was fine with me because I planned an easy enjoyable bushwhack run and didn't want to slow anyone down.
I started easy so not to aggravate the hip pain and it felt pretty good. The first turn I took off the trail ended up being the wrong way and I spent a fair amount of time searching for the red tape markers. after a mile or so I figured I was in the wrong spot and headed back to the Bradbury trail.
Back at bradbury (boundry) I finally came across the spot for the new connector. it was very well marked at this point. I found the trail to be well marked at times but confusing at others. I finally made my way to the first river and found a spot were a run of rocks almost crossed the whole thing.
Probably if it hadn't rained lately, the crossing there would have been relatively easy but because of the swift running water and the fact that I was alone, I decided to find a safer spot. A short ways up river I found a large tree laying across the river and crossed easily.
After crossing I found my way back to the marked trail and headed for Tyron mountain.
About half way up the trail to the peak, Ian caught up to me along with Emma, Jamie and Dave. It felt great to see other people and I enjoyed the chance to follow someone who knew where they were going.
We crested the mountain and stood on the highest spot for a picture and then headed back to the new trail. Ian made it seem easy and I didn't have to pay much attention to the trail (which later would come back to bite me as I returned alone).
We crossed Lawrence road and continued on. I lagged a bit but was able to stay close enough to keep them in my sights. Once we made it to the second river, it was apparent the crossing would be much more involved.
Ian and Erik jumped right in and commenced to wade across. It looked relatively easy but wet, cold, deep and pretty fast moving. I knew I was near the end of my running window for the day and decided follow the river a ways and see if there was a better spot to cross (one that I could do alone and still factor in safety)
I followed the river down stream for about 3/4 of a mile and found nothing better then went upstream and even though the current was slower, the river was wider and deeper. Upon returning to the first spot, I saw a single trail heading down stream, it was either a deer trail or something someone else used as it seemed pretty old.
I figured maybe it would lead to a crossing but instead came to a no trespassing sign after about a mile so I turned around and headed back. This was a bit more difficult than I thought as I couldn't find the same trail and had to follow the river instead.
I found the new trail finally but got lost (misplaced temporarily) quite a few times and found myself wishing I had paid more attention when following Ian's group. I made it to the first river and decided to try crossing at the rocks because I thought perhaps I could jump across the open spot.
I figured the worst that could happen is I fall in and get wet, which was no big deal because I was only a few miles from the parking lot at this point. Well I threw my water bottle across and leaped. Luckily I still had some leg power because I made it right to the edge of the bank and did not fall in or get wet.
It felt good to get back to Bradbury trail and I found myself quite tired as I had been out about 2 1/2 hours at this point and running for at least 2 of them. The return to the parking lot seemed so long as the legs just wanted to stop moving. It sure felt good to get in the truck and turn on the heat.
It was a bit disappointing that I didn't actually reach Pineland as it is only 4 or 5 miles, but with all the bushwhacking I just plain ran out of time and energy. I will have to return and finish my quest.
All and all a great run and exactly what I wanted to accomplish as I had no pain issues and no problems other than losing my bearings a couple times.
10.5 miles 2:20:21 (2:49:31 total time on feet)
Heart rate average 143 max 163 (yes it started working again)