The weather's been pretty dry lately, so I thought I'd follow the lowest trails on the Eastern slope where mud's always been an issue. The mud's definitely related to ongoing drainage issues, though, and I had to turn back once I got to this spot.
Please don't think I gave up too easily. I really tried to get past that, and of course could have if I was willing to get my feet really muddy. But I wasn't, so I turned back. The lowest trail branches off and rejoins the railroad tracks several times, and I jumped back on the next time I had a chance. The next section was fun, but when I reemerged at the railroad tracks, I saw someone up ahead who looked like he wasn't outside by choice. This isn't uncommon at places like the riverfront, and I don't normally go out of my way to avoid someone who appears to be homeless, but this guy was acting pretty erratically, and I didn't feel like going further up the hill alongside him.
So of course it was a dumb coincidence that I encountered him at the one spot where I won't go up either side. On my side of the tracks was the roller coaster trail that's clearly designed just for bikes heading downhill, and should be marked accordingly. On the other, was the trail that's so steep I've only been on it twice. The first time I scooted down on my ass, and the second time, I crawled up it. But I'd never tried to go up the roller coaster trail, so rather than head back down, I tried to go up it. That was dumb.
There's really no difference going up or down on that trail. It goes back and forth on opposing surfaces that are nearly vertical. That fact that you go a little further down or up as you move toward or away from the center barely factors in. I crawled up the first part and slid down, and didn't really want to proceed either direction. I realized I could cut the switchbacks and go directly up instead of following the trail, but that only worked twice. The third one was way too overgrown, so I had to turn back. After all that, I decided to head back down.
I connected with the OG trail that leads away from the dog park, and just before getting back, decided to join up with the first trail I ever followed there. That's the one that leads back from the dog park, and is still as overgrown as the first time I ever went there. Only that time, it was also too muddy. Now, I'm just curious how enough people are ever there to leave this mostly-overgrown trail that barely goes anywhere.
2.66 miles in 1:23, 7,761 steps, 383ft gain
It ended up being a really short and silly walk, but that was fine since I wanted to get back to working on the project I'd been tasked with. And it turned out there wasn't nearly as much to do on that as I figured. What a day.