Yesterday (Sunday) found me once again driving south past Circleville to Tar Hollow State Park. I'd decided to re-tackle the North Loop of the Logan Trail, the loop that had my friend Richard and I turning back a little over a month ago as we ran out of time. (Another Wake Up Call).
|It looks so innocent with the manicured flowered sign|
The weather in Ohio could not have cooperated more! It was a fantastic 65*F when I started, and still only 75*F when I finished, very unusual for the beginning of August. My pack started at 45 lbs (estimated 7 lbs heavier than my Camp Muir pack will be).
The beginning of the hike started fairly uneventfully with a steep 300 foot climb. During the climb I had to climb under that same tree from last time, and climb around a few trees. The climbs were tough, but not as tough as I remembered them being. Progress???
|I meant to get a picture of the uphill behind me, but my aim sucks.|
|If you squint right - maybe it's the ice shelf I hear is present on the current Rainier route?|
|Nature at it's finest|
|I definitely enjoyed the view for a couple minutes first though.|
|At least these trees were mostly above my head and required minimal ducking|
I wondered around at the bottom of the valley for a while and missed the turn up a ridge. I started getting into more and more dense crap and didn't see the red paint splotches that marked trees on the trail. After a bit of searching, I backtracked and found the sharp turn just past a dry creek that led STRAIGHT up a ridgeline. It was tough, and the pictures weren't doing it justice, so I decided to let my fact tell you how steep this was for Ohio.
|It was steep, really!|
|Pictures never do a hill justice. |
But, here you can see a GOOD paint splotch marking the trail. Most were not that visible.
As I continued on the trail, I couldn't resist smiling. I was so close to done and I felt GOOD. I'd been feeling so beat up during training lately, that I could barely hold back the feeling of elation that was threatening to overwhelm me. So, naturally, this is where I encountered a tree that was too big to really climb over, I elected to climb around it, which still required some fancy footwork with a heavy pack and trekking poles.
|I climbed up and over the root system instead..|
At 9.5 miles, I was near enough to my car that I could hear people playing basketball in the parking lot, and knew I just had to climb down off the ridge, but the only visible trails didn't go that direction. My guidebook said to head north - which would have been a short fall off a steep cliff according to my compass. I got a tad frustrated knowing which way I had to go, but not how to get there. Ultimately, I choose to head one direction down the path and see if it turned, it did. Before long, I was back to my car.
I dropped off my pack, downed some water, grabbed my change of clothes and headed to the primitive nearby restroom type facility to change before the long ride home. I glance up and around me - and realized based on where I'd left from the lot and where I'd returned, I'd climbed over and around all those surrounding tree covered hills. I was in awe and couldn't stop smiling. I had to take pictures. And of course, one picture couldn't capture it all...so here are two.
|The hills between my car and the start of the trail, I really should have taken one more of the starting location.|
|My car and the hill I came down at the finish of the loop|
I'm officially in taper for the mountain. Damn, if that isn't awesome enough to make me want to cry.
Have you ever had a peak training workout bring you to tears of joy that your long training session is over? (I have to keep reminding myself, that my next couple of weeks will still be the same level of training mid-week.)