Monday, December 14, 2009

Courtois Section OT

As we neared Leasburg it started to drizzle; an aspect I didn't catch in the forecast as I prepared the trip. We donned our packs and hiked south into the Huzzah Conservation Area. The rain held steady, but light, so we left the shells in our packs. We made our way through the maze of logging and MDC utility roads and down into the Courtois Valley. It was still cold and rainy as we prepared to ford the Courtois Creek. As our naked feet slipped into the water, we realized just how cold the water really was. By the time we reached the other side the frigid water had caused searing pain. I knew then that tomorrow when I came across this again, I would be leaving my shoes in place. We continued up to The Narrows and began seeing eagles. We watched as they soared up and down the river, rested in the Sycamores that lined the banks, and then repeated the process. Wiggling along The Narrows we reached the other side and dropped down into the Huzzah Valley. We continued for a few more miles and found a nice campsite below the trail. As we prepared dinner and a fire the rain began to increase. We ate fast and turned in for the 7:00. I slipped under my new MLD Grace Solo Siltarp and watched as the rain bounced off. The next morning the sun was out and David and I continued southbound to review some trail that Shawn Bradley, Neil Wiggins and I had worked on almost two years before. The trail looked great, especially near the tree that Shawn had to use excessive force. We got back to camp and woke Devin up, broke camp, ate breakfast, and began our trek back to the car. Not 10 minutes into our hike we were graced with a beautiful Barred Owl swooping down through the forest. Back through The Narrows and into the Courtois Valley we were faced with the cold crossing again. This time we left our shoes. We made our way up and out of the Courtois Valley and back to the car. From car to car, this trip lasted about 26 hours and contained some of the best trail yet. The total mileage out and back was about 16. jm

Topo Map

Friday, December 11, 2009

Courtois Section OT

David Tudor and I are taking our nephew out for a quick out and back on the Courtois Section this weekend. Figured we would start at the northern terminus of the OT and head south until it gets dark. This will be a great opportunity to take my new Mountain Laurel Designs Silnylon Grace Solo for a spin. I will provide a play by play when we get back. jm

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Following Directions

I have been following the advice of the chiropractor for more than a month now and have seen some great results in how my body feels when moving. I was granted permission to take this new body for a jaunt last weekend and ended up with my brother at the Green Rock Trail. We hiked quickly for the first mile and then began running for another 1/2 to 3/4 miles or so. We backed off and continued our quick hike pace to Melrose Rd which is about 5K in from the northern trailhead at Rockwoods Reservation. We turned around at Melrose and headed northbound. With a mile to go we opened it back up and ran the remaining distance to the car. We completed the 6 miles in just under 2 hours and I felt satisfied with how things went. Once cooled down and driving away, I did notice my knee start to have some pain...but then again I haven't done anything active in over a month, what did I expect? jm