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Saturday, June 13, 2015
New old area
Beargrass is out aplenty now, though it still seems a little early to me. I went 7.5 miles up Sucker Creek Road to a good road that goes a couple of miles up Keep Cool Creek to the north of Sucker. I call this a new route because I haven't run there this year (and therefore in the past five years or so); I call it old because it's the road that I drove up the last time I ran to the top of Stonewall Mountain. Unfortunately, there's a closed gate on it now, right on Sucker Creek Road, so no distance to the peak is saved. In fact it may even be longer than the foot trail I ran on June 4. I do think the climb might be spread out better — the foot trail is painfully steep for the first several miles at least.
The best part of this trail, though it's a little farther from the house (8 miles) is that it offers a lot of high-altitude, good-view running, most of which starts just a mile or so short of where I turned around today. I could spend many hours plodding around up there in the thin air and long views.
In some posts over the past few months, and I think in a few pictures, I've mentioned the burned area on the eastern flanks and the main ridge approaching the top of Stonewall. Here you can see a part of it that's much closer to this route than previous ones (the gray ridge on the horizon). If I were to go to the top from this spot, it would take me through some of the burn, but not this piece of it, which lies east of the route I'd be taking. This ridge is north of my trail today; the route to the top is mostly west of where this picture was taken.
I didn't push anything today, figuring that I'll probably take tomorrow off while Nora's here, then maybe go long — probably on the Continental Divide — on Monday. But I must say I felt very good, better perhaps than I've felt in a few weeks (spring in the step, no pains, etc.). That, I collect, is a good thing.
Finally, on my way to the spot where I parked, I saw this vista that reminded me of scenes I've seen in the Blue Ridge and Smoky mountains in the East. Because of a slight haze, the ridges fade as the distance increases. Don't know how well it'll show in this picture.
5; 27; 59.5; 507
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