8.04 miles in 2:45, 17,291 steps, 734ft gain
Now that I know a reasonably easy way to get up out of the gulch and over to Seaway Boulevard, longer routes are easier to plan. I was a bit worried about how the trails might be after the rain, but since there's no way to find out without seeing for myself, I decided to just go for it.
I left the house without drawing the route out on the map, and hoped I'd be able to do a couple of quick calculations in the car once I got to the dog park. I couldn't get enough of a signal to do that, so I checked routes that people have posted in the MapMyRun app hoping to find that someone had done something similar. Nobody had, but I saw that the gulch trails are more popular than I'd realized with mountain bikers. I don't know how they do it, as I can barely stand to walk across a lot of parts of the trails.
I realized today that I still don't have much of a concept of distance when I'm on the trails, and even when I've walked in an area before, my memories of those hike definitely compress a bit. I'm always surprising myself, thinking I'm "just about there" before turning a corner and discovering I'm really not. Today, I thought for sure that I was emerging from the trails at the ball fields like the last time I went that way, but it turns out I found a path off the trail that I walked right by before. Instead of point A, I found myself on the service road, point B. I'm curious why anyone bothered to carve that trail out to there since nobody's supposed to be on that road. Oh well. I made my way to the rec center and onto the road leading out before anyone said anything.
I'd only ever walked on Seaway going the other direction and hadn't noticed how insanely tall this hill is.
I wanted to do the perimeter trail at Narbeck Wildlife Refuge (C on the map), but I'd remembered it as closer than it was and didn't want to add another 2-3 miles today. Another time.
Insert MST3K reference:
It felt like it took forever, but I finally got back to the gulch. The mist coming off the trees looked awesome.
I was only at about 7.95 miles when I got back to the car, so I went a little further and doubled back so it would break the eight mile mark. :)