christopher575 (christopher575) wrote,

Go East, Young Man

With two more walking days this week about about nine miles to make my goal, I figured I'd just head to the gulch for a typical Western loop. But if there's anything I'm really good at, it's changing my mind. I recently spotted what's got to be the path to the Northernmost trail across the Eastern side of the gulch, and I wasn't sure if I'd been on it or not. If I had, it was the very first time I ever emerged from the gulch going that direction, which was a while ago. I figured it'd be nice to stay in the gulch and away from cars and houses for the whole morning and check that out, so I did.

Today's awesome walk, 4.14 miles 1:48, 8,902 steps, 460ft gain
4.14 miles 1:48, 8,902 steps, 460ft gain

Since I was staying in the gulch anyway, I figured I'd have a look at a couple of the trails that branch off from the center. It's hard to tell on the map because the 1-mile mark covers it, but here's the first one.


I didn't get much further from where I took that when I found the end. It's either a trail that needs some maintenance, or it just looks like a trail because enough people walk over that direction. There's a bit of a clearing, so I could picture people picnicking or sunbathing. The second one, where I've marked point A, looks like it connects up with the Western trails, and it might be an alternative to that spot where I had to sit down and scoot that one time.

With so many leaves falling, I keep finding them hanging in mid-air on single strands of spider web.


I used to really hate strands of web across sidewalks and trails, but when I'm in the woods I kind of like them now. It's cool when I step through one knowing that nobody else has been there that day.

Awesome colors.


It turns out that way down that I've marked as point B is indeed the one that I took up that time, and it's got some parts that are really sandy that I don't like at all. I'd say it's an "avoid" spot instead of an "avoid at all costs" spot. So far I have three of those in the gulch. My technique has improved, though, and I had an easier time going down today than I have previously. Some tricks I used are walking up on the side of the trail instead of the actual trail, and cutting across over and over instead of going straight down. Which reminds me, I need to see if there are any hiking videos on YouTube that talk about this sort of thing.

When I got to point C, I was only at 3.5 miles, and I wanted to break at least 4 today, so I followed another trail. That one's having some drainage issues, though. I was able to go around this mud pretty easily.


But when I got to this one, I turned back.


As much as I hate sandy trails, mud is just so much worse. Definitely no way I'd try to get past that, because odds are, there'd be something even worse up ahead. There's a dropoff to the right, so trying to balance on those roots and jump over is out of the question. No big loss for me anyway, as this trail is just above the center one. I don't really need it to get anywhere interesting.

I'm glad the MapMyRun site displays a 7-day total. That's made it really easy to deal with my goal this week. I just need to get in 4.5 miles tomorrow, which is a pretty typical day for me anyway.


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