Saturday, July 08, 2006

Carrboro Running

I just did a short run today, about 3 miles, because I haven't tried all these trails on my own yet and I'd rather explore the unknown ones with someone. So, I went on what I call the "burnt out car" trail. So...

I parked in the little dirt parking lot at the trailhead and made sure to leave the car in gear and pull on the e-brake as hard as I could so the car wouldn't roll out on the busy road! Locked my important stuff in the glove compartment, tied my key to my shorts, grabbed my camera, and headed out. We've had a lot of rain lately, and the entry trail is pretty over grown. Fortunately it's probably not even 1/10 of a mile before the first turn I needed to make. I turned off that little trail onto my first single track section. There's nothing too notable about this part, except for a curvy tree and one part where a BIG tree fell across the trail - I took pictures of both of those on the way back. This part of the trail is maybe 1/4 of a mile and ends with a steep rocky descent to Bolin Creek. I usually cross the creek right at the bottom of this hill, but a family was playing there so I went a little further. Across the creek and to my least favorite section of trail - the roots are so bad I walk that part, but it's very short. I quickly came upon my second stream crossing, and there was a group of 4 men there, moving the bridge! Ok.... I stood for a little while until they had the bridge totally out of the water, and then trudged right through the creek! Well...half a mile into my run my feet are already soaked. biggie. Stopped on the big rock to pet the one guy's Golden Retriever, and then set off on my way. This section is the big wide jeep trail, but again, we've had so much rain it's not as wide as it used to be. About 1/4 mile later, I found my next section of single track, and my destination - the burnt out car trail. Doug thinks the car is a Corvair - I have no idea.

Now, aside from some tips I've picked up from various race reports (i.e. - walk the big hills), Doug has taught me everything I know about trail running. His biggest lesson - go the same direction at every fork in the trail. It seems to me that this is a good way to run in circles, but he says it's a good way to not get lost, and I don't wanna get lost. So - left it was. Every time I came up on a new fork, I went left. It worked pretty well. This section of trail is really overgrown too, and I broke way too many spider webs with my face...but I trudged on. There's 2 (I think) stream crossings on this section. The first one was uneventful, and the stream was kinda low. Between the first and second crossing, so crazy mountain bikers have set up some absolutely insane ramps and obstacles. I think they're nuts - Doug wants to try them out. Coming up to the second stream crossing, though, there's this launch ramp they have set up to jump over the stream. This is, though, the bank on the opposite side is really steep - it would be extremely painful to fall short on that jump...

I kept making my left turns, and before long I was back at the burnt out car. And then back at the jeep trail. I went back across the stream where they took out the bridge (and got a picture this time), back across the mean roots, and back across the first stream crossing. This first/last crossing was gross - the water was kind of cloudy and green, I guess because it was held stagnant by rocks and logs, but it looked like pea soup and there was no way I was stepping in it. Got across that, charged up the really steep hill, and headed back to my car.

Here are the pictures - enjoy!