All week I've been eagerly waiting for this weekend to come. I had big plans and with Aimee in Florida through the end of the weekend, I had no commitments to speak of. Perfect for a couple of long days out in the great outdoors. I tossed around the idea of a backpacking trip with Brian, or maybe a fast packing trip, just me and my pup; 20+ miles on Saturday and another 20+ on Sunday with super minimal gear. Could be pretty sweet, if of course I could work the gear right. Then I was thinking long ride, Shaffer and Hoyles Mill and Black Hills and maybe more if I could figure it out for Saturday. Sunday, change it up with a sweet long trail run.
Then it started raining and any and all of those plans went down the tube. Well, almost all.
While I knew any sort of mountain biking was out for the weekend I figured I could try and squeeze in a long run somewhere. I headed up to Patapsco to see what the trails were like with the intention of heading to Columbia to run some errands if they were bad. What I found were surprisingly tacky and solid trails all around.
So, I donned a lumbar (fanny) pack with a water bottle holder, bungees for my rain jacket and pockets for cell phone and gu's and hit the trails with Cass. I stuck to trails I never ride and trails away from heavy run off and river valley areas and saw tons of areas in the park I've never before seen. After tooling around some of the different routes up between Avalon and the 195 park and ride entrance I headed out the paved Grist Mill trail searching for some different trails and different areas. I found a way across the train tracks and made it up eventually to the Hilton area and headed out further from there.
At this point we'd been out running for about an hour and a half to two hours and it was starting to rain. The trails were holding up and the rain barely seemed to be coming through the leaves so I decided to keep going since I was still feeling good. Headed out a few trails that eventually brought me back down to the paved trail (still grist mill maybe?) and a dam where I circled back around on Buzzards Rock Branch Trail. At this point the rain was starting to pick up so remembering a few key things from a park map I'd looked at back at the Hilton area I headed back in the general direction of where we came from, all the while sticking to different trails.
Eventually we made it back down to the parking area at the trail head (middle?) of Soapstone and started on the final stretch, deciding to stick to soapstone since it was about time to be finished. The cloud cover was starting to make it dark in the woods and it was getting late (much later then I realized). Soapstone was beginning to get a bit nasty though it generally is probably one of the first trails to get bad as the water tends to run and puddle on the trail there naturally.
When we finally made it back up to the trail head a bit over 3 hours later I think both Cass and I were ready to be finished, dry and fed. Unfortunately, some scumbag had decided my truck looked money and that there was probably something of value in it. They smashed my passenger side rear window with a rock (which they left me as a souvenir on Cassie's bed along with a wonderful pile of glass and only charged me a wallet! How wonderful a present.
Oddly enough they left my (outdated?) ipod player sitting in my center console where the wallet was as well as my GPS navigation device which had slid out from under the passenger side seat and was sitting in plan view when the passenger side door was opened (which they had done). Strange... apparently these guys were too good for my electronic devices! Though they did take my ipod car charger I think.
BofA had called me while I was running which I guess I'd missed hearing coming from wrapped in a plastic bag in a pocket near my dairy-aire. Apparently they spent some $70 at MacDonalds before attempting to rack up about $1000 at Walmart. Pretty easy to ID the fraudulent purchases there since I REFUSE to eat MacDonalds and haven't been to a Walmart probably since I was at school in Pittsburgh.
This is going to be a fun week. New driver's license, new work ID, NEW REI MEMBER CARD!!!, new smart trip card (which had some $80 still on it), new health insurance cards, (damn it, they stole the cross I kept from when I was young serving at my church as an acolyte! S@#$!), new AAA card, phew, I just took my social security card out of my wallet a little while back..., oh yeah new debit card, new costco card... Let's see. Anything else? I think that's more then enough. I'll be really pissed if they got my Cosi card.
Ok, I'm done. I think I've blown off enough steam for one night. If you made it this far... sorry!
At least the run was great!