My third morning run/Larry’s Trail

Yesterday I was supposed to have gone on my third morning run, but after going to a party for a friend who is leaving our area, I knew I wasn’t going to make it. So instead, I did the run this morning on a trail known locally as “Larry’s Trail” after the man who maintains it.

As per my first two morning runs, I laid out my clothes the night before. This time, I also washed my Kelty hydration backpack and put it in the freezer as suggested by Kelty. I initially set my alarm for 6 a.m., but then reset it for 6:30 a.m. after not getting to sleep right away. After getting my Kelty filled this morning and making sure I had my wallet, I was out the door by 7:15. A quick stop at the Acorn (a convenience store in our area) for a PowerBar and a PowerAde, and I was on my way to Larry’s Trail.I had heard of Larry’s Trail before, but didn’t think about running it today until last night when my friend, Denny Colegrove, suggested it. He drew me a crude map of the trail, and then told he he’d e-mail me a copy that night of a hand-drawn map that someone else gave him that had mileage on it, and was in greater detail. He e-mailed me the map like he said he would, but I forgot to check my e-mail this morning until I was halfway to Arnot, where the trail is.

So this was the first mistake of the day.

Because on the rough map Denny drew, not the one that he had e-mailed to me, it said I’d turn right on a trail called Fisher. There was no Fisher. It was Lick Creek Trail. The trail I’d return on, though, he said, was Sawmill Run Trail, which was to the left of the trail. So as I began, I wondered even if I was on the right trail. And even after getting down the trail about a mile, I still thought I was going the wrong direction because the trail didn’t seem to go back up hill soon enough, at least the way that Denny had drawn his map.

Then part way up the hill came another trail, South Creek Trail. I didn’t remember this on the map either, but I think he said there were some other trails with other names. So I wasn’t too worried. I figured if I kept going, I would end up where Denny said I would. And I did, sort of.

Enter the second mistake of the day: I talked on the cell phone with my dad, because I thought it would be “neat” to tell him I was out on a Sunday morning, enjoying God’s creation — of course, less so, now that I had the cell phone on. But I wasn’t thinking about that, of course. Anyway, as I was talking to him, I proceeded to lose the trail and suddenly found myself in a clearing with nowhere to go. I retraced my steps to where the trail had begun, and then went back to follow a logging path instead up the side of the mountain. I thought eventually I would meet up with the right trail: third mistake.

I never did. I ended up on a state forestry road, but I decided if I followed it far enough, I would find my way to a road somewhere and maybe get my bearings. Then instead of following the road down the hill, I opted to take another logging path up over the hill. Luckily, I did, because not only did I come back to the same entrance to Bloss Mountain Trail, but also I encountered a few deer on the top of the hill. This time, I followed the trail and came to a fork in the road, with one sign that read “Sawmill Trail.” Finally, I was on familiar territory.

The trail itself is kept clear by Larry Yeager. He’s been maintaining it for years. Along the trail are rock chairs that he has set up and also he and members of a local bike club have put up stone bridges and a few wooden-slat bridges for bikes to cross. In fact, I think I first heard of the trail from T.J. Mosher, one of the members of the bike club. I put the idea in the back of my mind until it came to fruition after Denny rekindled it last night.

In all, I had run about three hours. When I got home this afternoon, after an ill-advised stop at Arby’s (don’t let the light-looking menu items fool you, they’re not), I looked at online maps to get a rough idea of how far I had gone. I guesstimated it at about the distance of a half marathon: 13.2 miles, give or take a couple of miles (of course, I’d rather give myself a few and maybe did, but I tried to give my best guesstimate).

As a result of the late start, I missed Mass this morning where I was supposed to be a minister of communion, but I think God will forgive me, as I was out communing with His creation — at least most of the time.

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